The Institute together with Deerland, Elephant Training School and the early-implementation-stages Stem Cell Research Centre were located in the rich Kelau Reserve - a haven for nature lovers like me.
Imagine coming across a Fire-crested pheasant casually crossing the road, just like any normal village chicken!
As there was ample time before the ceremony, I dropped by at the Kuala Gandah Elephant training school next door.
"Is Lukimala araound?" I asked a lady at the registration counter.
"Yeah, we both knew each other. We were together in Jerangau some twenty years plus ago in an interesting elephant translocation project."
Azlan drove me around and from far I saw five elephants grazing in the secondary jungle along the road. Lukimala was happily grazing on the wild grasses. With her were four other domesticated elephants. One was from Myanmar and the other three were elephants caught from states in Malaysia and they were being trained as denak elephants.
Lukimala must be a great grand she elephant now...maybe more than 80 years old. She still looked healthy and strong.