Elephants at wild locations in Malaysia

9 wild locations has kept elephants in Malaysia
There is presently 9 (2,7) living elephants in wild locations in Malaysia (in this database)

Region: Malaysia is in this database included in asiaOther regions
Wild elephants:

Malaysia has about 3000wild elephants. Source:

Location holdings:

9 wild locations has kept 22 elephants in Malaysia

(Database tables with collection of elephants further down on the page)

Elephants in wild locations9 (2,7) living13 (1,2) dead
Sex ratio and
 Male  2 / 9 
 Female  7 / 9 
 Free contact  0 / 9  0%
 Protected contact  0 / 9  0%
 No contact  0 / 9  0%
 Unknown contact  0 / 9  0%
 wild  9 / 9 

Wild population numbers are divided into: (1. Malaysia (Peninsular): 1450, 2. Borneo: 2435)

Hundreds have been removed to national parks since the 1970s, to stop raids on plantations as jungles were cleared. Translocation has ensured healthy elephant populations.

Malaysia also has a new (2003) subspecies of Asian elephant, officially named as Borneo pygmy elephant, (Elephas maximus borneensis), estimated to be less than 1,500, most of them living in Sabah.

2008: population was 1,250-1,466 Peninsula and 1,100-1,600 Borneo (Sukumar 2008)

2011: Malaysia has about 3885 (min. 2423, max. 5347) wild elephants. Source:Malaysia (Peninsular): Saaban et al. (2011), Borneo: Alfred et al. (2011). Malaysia put into place the Management & Ecology of Malaysian Elephants (MEME) project in 2011 to further study and collect data on the country’s wild elephant populations with the end goal of developing evidence-based approaches to HEC.

2020: It is estimated that there are less than 3000 individual elephants left in Peninsular Malaysia including the endangered Borneo Pygmy elephants found in Sabah.

Human-elephant conflict (HEC)

Data revealed that elephants in Peninsular Malaysia have lost 68% percent of their natural range to human encroachment in the last 40 years.

In the remaining 32% of space that they occupy, elephants are said to be living very close to human settlements, and often enough resulting in HEC in around 60% of these areas.

Captive elephants

Elephant ownership in Malaysia is regulated by the Act 716 (which replaced Act 76). Before Act 76 was implemented (in 1972), there was no proper registration of captive elephants.

In 1960, only two captive elephants were recorded in Malaya (Harrison 1960). This trend has reversed since the creation of EMU and the number of captive elephants increased to 20 in the mid-nineties (Daim 1995), and to as many as 62 in 2011.

Recommended Citation

Koehl, Dan, Facts about elephants in Malaysia. Elephant Encyclopedia, (2021) available online retrieved at https://www.elephant.se/country.php?name=Malaysia.
(archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources, among others

Internal relevant links

  • The elephant database startpage. Statistics
  • News about elephants in Malaysia (From the sister site Elephant News)

  • NameElephant collectionTypePlaceDistrictProvinceStateRegion
    Borneo unspecified location
    Kept totally 3 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 3 births3 relocated0 deathswild
    Gunung Rara Forest Reserve
    Kept totally 12 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 12 births0 relocated12 deathswildSabah, Borneo
    Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary
    Kept totally 7 elephants
    , 7 present (1,6) 7 births0 relocated0 deathswildKinabatangan
    Lahad Datu District
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 1 births1 relocated0 deathswildLahad DatuSabah, Borneo
    Lata Rek Forest Reserve
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 1 births1 relocated0 deathswildKuala Krai
    Kuala Krai DistrictKelantan
    Pekan Forest Reserve
    Kept totally 2 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 0 births2 relocated0 deathswildPahang
    Piah Forest Reserve
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 0 births0 relocated1 deathswildPerak
    Taman Negara National Park
    Kept totally 4 elephants
    , 2 present (1,1) 4 births2 relocated0 deathswildKuala Tahan
    Ulu Terengganu Forest Reserve
    Kept totally 4 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 0 births4 relocated0 deathswildTerengganu

    This document was updated: 2020-10-28 06:43:33

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