When I watched the elephant footprints at the Berkail River in Gunung Leuser in 2010, I was so excited. My Indonesian partner, Ali Rusli, told me that more than 15 years ago, the elephants used to go to the Green Life reserve, which at that time was only 10 hectares. I had a big dream to create conditions that would allow elephants to return to Green Life reserve.
It took several years, the reservation grew, and the number of volunteers increased. They had one common question: “Could we see elephants around here?” The answer was clear: “Not here, we would have to go at least 3 days upstream of the Berkail River into the National Park, but no one can guarantee anything as they are always migrating for food and so never stay and the same place for a long time.”
It was March 23, 2018, and Green Life reserve already had 107.3 hectares, and another 65 hectares of land was under the protection and guarding contract with the owner “Čolese“. That day, however, something special happened. We received an incredible message from Sumatra. The message said; “Three elephants came to the Green Life reserve.” We could not believe our eyes, but it was true. By the time we received the message, we were already back home in the Czech Republic. We were a bit sad that we were not there to see it but it was an enormous joy that elephants came back to the reservation. There was this years-old memory in my head when I saw the elephant footprints and dreamt of having them back in the Green Life reserve migratory track again. It was here, the dream came true, an adult elephant with the two baby elephants visited the Green Life reserve. The Tiger Commando’s task was to watch them and make sure they do not go to the Batu Katak village, which could be dangerous for elephants. After 7 days, they left the reservation after they had gone through the entire area, demolished few signs and gates and disappeared deep into the Gunung Leuser National Park.
All we have to do is thank everyone who has been creating and expanding Green Life for the past 10 years with us, to all volunteers and supporters of Tiger Commando. You all are the reason why elephants returned to their old places and we hope they will regularly on their food journeys.
The goal of the Green Life project is to redeem the whole territory between the Berkail and Sembelang (about 400-500 ha) and create a terrestrial paradise for animals and good people to visit.
Thanks to all of you!