KOTA KINABALU - The Borneo Elephant Sanctuary, which is set to open tomorrow, will have a key role in protecting and conserving endangered Borneo pygmy elephants in Sabah.
While helping to rehabilitate displaced and orphaned elephants and releasing them back into the wild, the first and only sanctuary in Sabah will be the hub for the conservation of the species and will create public awareness.
Sabah Wildlife Department director Datuk Laurentius Ambu said the sanctuary in the Kinabatangan district in Sabah's east coast was in a natural habitat and specifically designed to rescue elephants that were injured by humans or in an elephant fight.
"It will also be home to orphaned elephants," he added.
Ambu said the sanctuary had become a reality because of major funding from the Malaysian Palm Oil Council.
The council, through its conservation fund, had pledged RM5.2mil (S$2 million) for the sanctuary and the department is looking forward to more funding once it starts operating.
Ambu also thanked the Borneo Conservation Trust Japan which provided some RM1.6mil for the construction of the first phase of the sanctuary.