亞洲 家庭旅遊建議 緬甸 遊記/ 自助旅行

【緬甸Myanmar】探訪大象養老營Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp

INTRODUCTION/ 簡介

Green Hill Valley Camp 是一個給生病,受傷或退役大象的照顧營區。位於緬甸中部Kalaw開車約45分鐘. 從2011年起開幕,是由曾與緬甸木業協會(MTE) 大象一起工作的當地家庭所創辦。這個大象照顧營創辦時只有兩頭大象, 今日已有八頭大象 (不含一頭過世的大象)。

Green Hill Valley Camp is a sanctuary for sick, injured, and retired elephants. It is in the middle of Myanmar in Kalaw (around 45m drive). It has been opened since 2011. It was made by a family that used to work with elephants in the Myanmar Timber Enterprise (MTE). The camp is opened by local people, and began with just 2 elephants. Today if you visit GHV Camp there are 8 elephants. There should be 9 but one elephant passed away.

<左圖:大象醫生正幫助大象診療打針。右圖:大象營佔地遼闊,提供自然環境給大象們>


關於作者

因為希望更多人了解大象面臨的困境&提升人道照顧意識,10歲的Amber撰寫這片介紹文章,Mike&Anna幫忙中文翻譯的部分然後共同編排。


SOMETHING ABOUT ELEPHANT/ 關於大象

大象是陸地上最大的哺乳類動物,主要分為亞洲象&非洲象.百萬年間的氣候變遷以及隨之而來的植被改變,造成許多種類大象的絕種。保育組織估計今日世界上大約只下約四十一萬五千頭大象在野外生活,被歸類為”易危物種”。而亞洲象在過去的60-75年間亞洲象的數目減少了50%,今天只剩下不到四萬頭,更被列為”瀕危物種”。

Elephant is the largest mammal on the land. There are mainly two types of elephants: Asian elephants and African elephants. While the Asian elephant is just one species the African elephant is divided into several like the African Bush elephant. Due to climate and environment changes over last millions of years, many types of elephants are extinct. Experts calculate that there are about 415,000 African elephants left in the wild and are listed as ‘Vulnerable’ while Asian elephants are listed on ‘Endangered’ and have less than 40,000 elephants left in the wild. Over the last 60-75 years they have decreased around 50%.

<圖:森林砍伐與象牙盜獵是大象的主要威脅>

亞洲象今日主要在於南亞與東南亞,約有一半在印度因為也被稱為”印度象”。 緬甸則擁有約兩成亞洲象數量,今日有約八千頭象但數量在快速減少中。盜獵者非法取得象的象皮,鼻子,與象牙去販賣。儘管亞洲象有象牙,但這是並不是他們唯一盜獵威脅的原因。大象充滿力量,擁有超過十萬個肌肉的象鼻,可以在黑市販賣高價。其實象鼻本身並沒有特殊營養價值,但因很多人相信有象鼻特殊治療的效果因此人們在黑市買賣。另一個大象面臨的威脅是因為環境的變遷,亞洲象又位處人口密度高的亞洲,因人們為了木材或取得更多土地利用而不斷砍伐森林,因此大象居住的森林不斷縮減。最後由於大象的體積及其食量驚人,因此也不能在農地區域中與人類共存。在這些地區的大象常會無意間踐踏農地並食用農作品而與當地人民發生衝突,令大象出現傷亡的狀況。

Asian elephants mostly live in South-East Asia. About half of Asian elephants are in India, so they also are recognized by their nickname, Indian Elephants. Today about 8,000 Asian elephants left in Myanmar and their population in the wild is decreasing rapidly. Poachers are hunting elephants illegally for their skin, trunk, and tusk. Even though Asian elephants have tusks it isn’t the only threat. Their powerful trunk which has about 100,000 muscles makes a lot of money. They don’t do anything but people sell the trunk in black markets. Some people believe that it has healing powers. Also because of the environment change, Asian elephants’ habitat is getting smaller. They live in forests but people are cutting down forests for making furniture, getting more land, and to use the wood for other reasons. Because of their bulkiness and diet size, they can’t live near farms or villages. Sometimes elephants leave the forest and stumble into a farm. They eat the crops which anger the farmers and there is some conflict between them. Sometimes the farmer shoots the elephant so it won’t damage all of the crops.

<左圖:非洲象體積較大,耳朵形狀如非洲大陸。右圖:亞洲象體型較小耳朵較圓>

歐洲象體型比較為龐大。有趣的是非洲大象的耳朵形狀有如”非洲大陸”。亞洲象的耳朵比較圓而小。另外與亞洲象的分別還有: 非洲象鼻有兩個”指頭”而亞洲象只有一個”指頭”。你知道大象其實不只是有一個鼻子而有兩個嗎?主要的長鼻子是用來搬運物品用,而隱藏在裏頭的小鼻子則是用於記憶,如分辨家庭成員的味道。

African elephants are bigger in size compared to Asian elephants. African elephants also have differences with Asian elephants. For example, African elephants have 2 “fingers” on their nose while Asian elephants only have 1 “finger” on their nose. An elephant’s “finger” is used for grabbing small things. Do you know that elephants not only have 1 nose but 2 noses? While the main nose called the trunk is used for grabbing things the second nose is smaller and is just 2 holes in the elephant’s mouth. The second nose is used for memory. It’s used for recognizing family members. It does this by recognizing the scent of their family members. Another interesting fact is that African elephants’ ears are shaped like the “African continent” while the Asian elephants’ ears are more round and smaller. African elephants mainly live in Africa.

大象雖然看起來很溫馴,但牠也跟河馬、犀牛一樣是危險性高的動物,一旦被激怒了就連獅子和老虎都要閃得遠遠的,大象會以象牙來刺向敵人,還會用長鼻子把敵人捲起來再用力摔下去。

Even if elephants look like calm and gentle animals, don’t be swayed, they can be dangerous at times. They will attack like rhinos or hippos. Using it’s tusks to stabs the opponent, using it’s trunks to squeeze the enemy. Because elephants are so big and powerful they can leave permanent damage or even kill someone.


OUT EXPERIENCE IN GREEN HILL/ 大象營體驗

ELEPHANT FEEDING 大象餵食

大象食量驚人,一天花十多個小時進食!

我和家人在12月到Greenhill valley大象照顧營,天氣不會太熱剛好. 我們在當日早上約九點半抵達,我第一個印象是有很多的樹。 一開始營區的解說員會花10-15分鐘告訴大家營區的歷史,大象面臨的困境, 與他們做了什麼來幫助大象,因為緬甸森林不斷的減少營區還會種樹幫助生態。 在解說後大家會分成不同的小組由不同的解說員帶領活動。我們家庭和一對歐洲的情侶六個人被歸在一組。第一個行程就是為大象吃東西,有大量新鮮的南瓜,香蕉,與小麥粉提供餵食。

My and my family went to GHV Camp in December so the weather wasn’t too hot or cold. We arrived in the morning and my first impression was that there was a lot of trees. One of the elephant caretaker had a speech about the history of their camp, why they help the elephants, and what they do to help the elephants. Because the problem of all the trees being cut down GHV Camp plant a lot of trees for the environment and for the elephants’ free time. After the speech everyone was divided into groups. My family including me were paired with a European couple and a guide. The first thing on our schedule was elephant feeding. For the feeding we were provided with fresh pumpkins, banana stem, and wheat.

<圖:營區提供很好的天然環境。餵食需要花段時間才敢把食物直接送入大象口中>

大象是草食性動物,一天要有16個小時用來採集食物,一天一隻成年象可以吃進80到100公斤的食物! 年輕的大象會比較好動特別喜歡吃南瓜,比較年老的大象則是很溫馴緩慢吃各種食物,他們都喜歡麥片因為比較容易咀嚼與吞食。我和我弟弟Justin都非常喜歡幫大象餵食。一開始我們只敢把食物放在鼻子上讓大象會捲去吃,大概花了一段時間適應後,我們就比較放心可以直接把食物放在大象嘴巴內。我自己比較喜歡餵年老的大象因為他們很溫和。

An average elephant can eat at least 80-100 kg of food per day! The younger elephants were more aggressive and enjoyed pumpkins a lot. Meanwhile, the older elephants were more gentle and slower. They enjoyed the wheat because it was easier to chew and devour. Me and my brother, Justin, really enjoyed feeding the elephants. After a while, we were more confident and feed them by putting the food in the elephant’s mouth. We liked feeding the older elephant more。


ELEPHANT BATHING/ 幫大象洗澡

<圖:與工作人員一起到小希準備幫大象洗澡>

接著我們幫大象沐浴。因為下半身會濕透,我們會換上營區提供傳統的長褲。 褲子尺寸是給大人地所以我們要捲到胸部。在洗澡前我們先去大象照顧員的小屋了解他們的健康狀況, 醫生就是創立家族的親戚,照顧員會給我們看每隻大象完整的健康紀錄,也給我們看一些對大象有害的寄生蟲種類標本。大象的指甲剪刀真的很大!

Next we got ready to shower the elephant. We changed into traditional trousers because the water was a little deep, for the adult it goes up to the waist and we didn’t want to get our legs wet. But before we went to the river to wash the elephant we went to see the elephants’ caretaker. The caretaker gave us each a record of the elephants here. He also showed us some worms and insects that hurt the elephants. At last the elephant caretaker showed us an elephant nail-clipper. It was very big.

green hill valley elephant camp 大象洗澡

幫大象洗澡是很有趣的經驗我們看完檔案後去幫大象洗澡。工作人員會先帶著大象到附近小溪。大象由於毛少,皮膚又厚,容易生皮膚病,所以需要經常洗澡或做泥浴同時幫助散熱。在大象營每天會在中午與傍晚幫大象洗澡兩次。 因為大象體積大所以我們幫忙洗澡他們要蹲下來,但解說員告訴我們大象不能蹲下來太久所以我們洗澡時間有限。他給我們用植物做成的刷布,因為是在小溪中洗澡,一開始會覺得溪水很冰冷。營區工作人員把我和Justin放在大象背上,他們的皮又厚又粗造,我們很用力地刷洗他們的2-3公分厚的皮膚。洗澡真的是個有趣的經驗 !!

After we finished looking at the files we finally went to shower the elephant. The guide told us that elephants can’t stay down for too long so we can’t take too much time. He gave each of us “soap” made of a kind of plant. The water was really cold. Some elephant helpers put me and my brother on the elephant. The skin was rough and the hair was really thick and strong. We scrubbed the elephant’s skin really hard because their skin is 2-3 cm thick. It was really fun washing the elephant for me. After we finished the European couples had their turn washing the elephant.

green hill valley elephant camp 大象洗澡
大人孩子都能享受與大象相處洗澡的時光

LUNCH 午餐
When we finished washing the elephants we changed from our wet clothes into dry ones. The guide asked us if we would like to feed the elephants before lunch and we agreed. Lunch was lovely. For dessert, we had fried bananas with honey.
我們幫大象洗澡後換上自己原來的衣服。因為接近中午陽光很大,工作人員接著帶我們去午餐。 搭建的半露天小屋餐廳環境很舒適通風,食物也很好吃。我們還吃了 炸香蕉沾蜂蜜當甜點。

<午餐:結合印度與緬甸風味的餐點>


ELEPHANT DUNG PAPER & PLANTING/ 大象糞便造紙&種樹

Dung paper was the next thing on our schedule. But before that we went to see the museum of bones. There were 2 sets of bones. The first was an adult elephant. The second was a baby elephant. Our tour guide told us that the baby passed away when it was just 2 weeks old. It’s mother had passed away. While the baby was walking one day it accidentally slipped while it was in a river and drowned.

大象消化系統效率不高,只有40%的食物可以被吸收,剩下60%的食物會被排出去。因此大象每天可以排出接近35千克的糞便,兩天的糞便就足夠把一個成年人浸沒。別站在大象的尾部以防突如其來的糞便。

大象的糞便造紙是我們午餐後的主要活動,我們先去參觀大象骨骼搭建的標本。一個是成年大象死後骨頭搭建的,另一個則是小象的標本,嚮導告訴我們這隻小象是在出生兩個星期就去世了,因為象媽媽死去,小象自己在河邊散步時不小心掉落河中淹死。

參觀大象骨骸搭建的標本

After seeing the bones we went to see the dung paper being made. It was exactly the same process of how normal paper is made except for a few steps. First the elephant dung was slowly with water over a fire for 14 hours. This step is here to kill the germs and take away the unpleasant smell of dung. Next the liquid is poured into a big bowl of water. Then a mesh is casted into the water. Because the dung liquid still contains fiber it can be separated from water. After the water has run out the dung paper is set out in the sun to dry. It takes about 2 days for it to dry. After it has dry the paper is very rough like sandpaper, so the paper is put into a roller to make it smooth.

After visiting dung paper we went back for afternoon elephant feeding again.

接著我們參觀大象糞便造紙過程。基本上過程與平常手工造紙非常類似,一開始大象糞便加水後燃燒約14個小時去除菌與味道,然後加水在一個大水槽內,用網子在水中過濾。因為大象糞便中有豐富纖維因此可以從濾網過濾分隔,然後把過濾物在太陽下曬乾,約兩天後可以乾燥。這時的紙像是砂紙般很粗造因此需要用滾輪壓平順滑。我們有拿到兩個樣本上面有大象圖案,有點類似再生紙的質感。

之後我們又回去與大象相處,幫忙下午的餵食,大象真的很能吃啊!

Myanmar’s forest is decreasing about 2% percent every year. Only 40% percent of Myanmar is forest and if nobody does anything it would soon be gone. Because of this problem GHV Camp plants tree to save the environments and elephants. Our guide gave us each a little pot full of soil and a seed. He told us that the seed was a tea leaf seed. We put the seed about 1 cm deep in the soil. Then we gave the pot to the guide. We finished our camp activity around 0330pm in the afternoon.

緬甸境內約四成的土地是森林,但每年有約百分之二的森林地在消失,照這樣速度下去緬甸二十年後就沒有森林!因為大象面臨生活環境減少這個問題,大象照顧營也有種樹活動,我們每個人都會拿到一個裝滿土壤的罐子與種子讓我們參與植樹過程。 整個大象營的活動約在下午三點半結束。


FINAL WORDS 結語

如果你到緬甸旅遊, 強烈建議大家到大象照顧營! 你可以幫助照顧與種樹,同時你可以在大象餵食與洗澡中得到許多樂趣!

If you visit Myanmar you must visit Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp. When visiting the Camp you are helping the elephants and planting project, also at the same time you can have fun feeding and bathing the elephants. So if you are considering going to Myanmar then add a visit to Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp to your schedule!

 


後記【關於大象養老營】

當初到緬地中部Kalaw準備參加健行行程時,就發現這個大象養老營在Trip advisor上有極高的評價。實際參觀後,發現在一天的活動中,與動物園不同,能長時間的與大象相處,藉由餵食,洗澡等互動了解他們的習性,同時藉由參加活動,幫助有理念的大象營繼續經營。

解說員一開始就會強調『在這裡與平常觀光的騎大象,看大象表演不同。這裡是讓大象養老安養的地方。但相信藉由餵食,洗澡等親近照顧大象活動中,能更了解這些具有靈性的大象們』。

<圖:Green hill valley 的活動集錦,照片來自官網>

緬甸有悠久的伐木業歷史,因此有眾多數量的大象們每天都要拉著超過一公噸以上的木材,在惡劣的環境下辛苦工作沒有得到妥善照過,往往等到中老年已經充滿殘疾。在2013年當緬甸政府宣佈禁止私人伐木業後,需多當初生已經病殘缺的大象卻沒有得到好的出路只被關著。因此一對曾在旅遊&伐木業工作過的夫妻與從事獸醫的叔叔自己租了一片叢林地,開創了緬甸第一間專給退役大象的養老營。獸醫叔叔Uncle Ba為大象定期檢驗,因應狀況調配適合老象吞嚥的營養品。現在八隻大象中有三隻是從公營伐木場拯救出來的,每年還需要付給政府一筆費用。其他從私營伐木公司救出的也是自掏腰包。甚至他們也聘請當初與大象一起工作的馴獸師,讓他們的家人一起住在營區內。有趣的是這些大象每天五點黃昏後,就會帶他們回到叢林自由活動過夜,但第二天早上幾乎都會自己回來用餐。

可惜這樣的理念並沒有得當當地政府的贊助,現在所有的開銷都主要依賴遊客的入場費。參加活動時觀察除了適合家庭帶孩子來體驗外,也有許多歐洲年輕人特地來參加,大家最後也都很給好評,很推薦有機會來這造訪。

**Green hill valley elephant camp 大象營官網連結


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