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Leave Your Elephant at Bali's Door

Bali's Governor and Law Makers Refuse Importation of 59 More Elephants to Bali.

(2/13/2010) Requests from various groups for permission to import 59 elephants to Bali are being steadfastly resisted by Bali's governor who claims the island's current elephant population of 93 is more than sufficient to meet the needs of a small island.

Seeking permission to import 59 more elephants to Bali are the Bali Elephant Safari Park in Taro (10), Bali Zoo Park (14), Kasiana (15) and Bakas (20).

The current population of 93 elephants are distributed among the Bali Elephant Safari Park (32), Taman Safari Bali (33), Kasiana (18) and Bakas (10).

Joining the governor in his refusal to allow the shipment of more elephants into Bali is the island's House of Representatives (DPR).

The Governor's spokesman said the government's stance is consistent with his past statements to limit the number of elephants on the island.

The 93 elephants already in Bali are viewed by the governor and island legislators as already exceeding the ideal carrying capacity of the island for the large mammals. Moreover, the elephants are not considered an essential part of Bali's endemic culture.

The Governor's spokesman rejected accusations from Jakarta that Bali was being "egotistical" in its refusal to accept the 59 elephants waiting at Bali's gate. Reminding Jakarta that autonomy allows Bali to determine its own fate and future and any attempt to override Bali's discretion was in itself an egotistical act by the Jakarta bureaucrats. The spokesman added that the decision by Bali to stop future import of elephants was based on careful study.