Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Winkabaw Camp needs milk for orphaned baby elephants

If you decide to go on a weekend excursion to Winkabaw Elephant Orphanage Camp in Bago Region, it would greatly help bringing along a pack or two of milk powder for its voracious baby pachyderm residents, a senior camp official appealed.

U Myint Soe, officer in charge of Winkabaw Elephant Camp told The Myanmar Times last week, that his seven wards each consumes between two to three bags of milk powder daily.

“There are no regular donations. We just receive K1000 to K4000 per day. And if you ask whether donations (of milk powder) could be used, I’d say they are always needed,” said U Myint Soe.

“The calves must be protected and cared like orphan kids,” he added.

Since opening last year, it has cared for seven orphaned baby elephants, of which two are domesticated and five are wild. Because they need to be fed milk powder, a donation box has been placed at the camp for donations, U Myint Soe said.

“They (baby elephants) are marked with numbers. No.1 needs 3 bags of 600 grammes a day. Others need 2 bags. A 600g milk powder bag costs around K10,000 and K16,000 for 800g,” he said.

Among its seven wards, two were domestic ones and arrived at the camp after their mother died and the five wild ones just escaped from the hands of elephant poachers in Ayeyarwady Region.

Five attendants take care of the seven orphans in the camp and although there is no difficulty in taking care of the calves, it is necessary to be careful as they can’t be hurt, according to U Myint Soe.

Aside from the orphan baby elephants, there are more than 10 elephants in Winkabaw.

Winkabaw Elephant Camp opened in 2016 and is located at Bayargyi-Bawnakgyi Road, 22.5 kilometres north of Bago and about 6.5 kilometres west of Bayargyi township.

“Most baby elephants were left at the camp after their mothers were killed and they cannot live like a normal wild elephants. So, we have to take care as much as we can. When they are adults they can find their own food but we need to train them to stay naturally,’’ said Dr Myo Min Aung, a veterinarian.’’

Visitors can closely watch how the baby elephants are being taken cared by their attendants.

“During school days, about 20 to 30 people visit the orphanage but during holidays, hundreds of people come here,” U Myint soe said.

The camp is open daily from 7am to 6pm. Those who want to visit can contact 09-431 216 47, 09-778 132 360 and 09-250 90 80.

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