Project Description

Elephant Response Units (ERUs) (aka CRUs) in Way Kambas National Park in Sumatra

The communities surrounding Way Kambas National Park in south Sumatra suffer from a high
level of human-elephant conflict. Subsistence farmers will often wake to find their entire fields
destroyed by elephants who have ventured out of the protected habitats in search of food. The
ERU teams in Tegal Yoso, Margahayu, Bungur, and Brajo Harjosari patrol hot spots and vital
border areas to herd wild elephant populations away from crop fields. ERU teams are composed
of forest rangers, mahouts, and elephants from the Indonesian government’s elephant centers
who are trained for forest patrol. Together they prevent HEC, monitor wildlife activity, address
and stop forest crime, and protect valuable habitat for endangered species including Asian
elephants, Sumatran tigers, Sumatran rhino, tapir and pangolin. The elephant team members
serve as ambassadors for their species during community outreach, inspiring the people to have a
vested interest in elephant survival and conservation. CRU teams also work with affected
communities to facilitate community watch programs, encouraging the community to take an
active role in conservation and their own protection.

This project is supported in part by:

Audubon Zoo
Pt. Defiance Zoo and Aquarium
ShowMe Tigers