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When Way Kambas National Park in Sumatra was established in 1984, communities were moved out of the park, leaving behind wells, which have become deadly traps for wildlife. Juvenile elephants are the animals most often found trapped (it is estimated that 300 elephants may have died in these wells since 1984), but the bones of the endangered Sumatran Rhinoceros and Sumatran Tiger have also been found in the wells.
Claire Oelrichs from Ecolodges Indonesia Wildlife Rescue Fund worked with National Park staff to employ field assistants to locate and close wells. In 12 months 1,965 wells were closed. In addition, two elephants were rescued. One remains at an orphanage and the other has been returned to its herd. Taronga is part successful regional breeding programs for Asian Elephants and Sumatran Tigers. In addition, Dr Benn Bryant, Senior Veterinarian at Taronga Western Plains Zoo has assisted the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary at Way Kambas National Park. Dr Bryant is part of the veterinary support team for the Asian Rhino Project.
Ecolodges Indonesia is a small ecotourism company making a serious contribution to biodiversity conservation and to improving the livelihoods of the communities where they operate their Ecolodges.