InPhocus Stories ゾウを害獣と見なす時代からもう一歩先に進んだ現場 / 柏倉陽介 | InPhocus

2020/09/03 02:51



"Moving Beyond the Time that Elephants were Deemed Harmful Animals" 

In Borneo, oil palm plantation expansion has caused frequent clashes between citizens and animals that have lost their habitats. The most serious issues are caused by herds of elephants that find their way into the oil palm plantations. Elephants love oil palms. The elephants are nothing but harmful from the perspective of the plantations, and there have been many incidents where they have shot and killed elephants. Amid all of this, I visited the Murankin Oil Palm Plantation in Sabah, Malaysia, in Borneo, where they have begun an attempt to co-exist with the elephants. At this plantation, they abide by a policy of watching over any elephants that enter the plantation, rather than removing them. The owner of the plantation thought that, because elephants are such intelligent animals, if the plantation shows no animosity to them, they would be able to avoid any unnecessary clashes. "Once I actually tried it, I saw that they didn't knock over any of the oil palms, and even if some did get knocked over, I discovered that 70-80% of those trees were actually infected with pathogens. More surveys and research is necessary, but if this is proven, it may mean that elephants can help discover infected trees. I hope to see some possibilities in that direction," said the owner. This plantation currently chops down old oil palms, and crushes their trunks together with the oil palm fruits to spread across the ground, which comprises the elephants' feeding area. As of now, they have had no trouble with the elephants.