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Jakarta Post

Ecotourism Promotes ‘Mahout’ Welfare

  • Arif Suryobuwono

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, May 8 2018   /  01:17 am

Hot meal: Mahout Katiyo prepares porridge for his elephants. (Arif Suryobuwono)Being a mahout was a poorly paid job before the development of the Tangkahan Elephant Ecotourism Camp in 2002. Back in 1993, when working as a mahout for the Aceh chapter of the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA Aceh) in Aceh, Sudiono was paid a monthly stipend of Rp 75,000 (US$5.45). In 2002, he was transferred to Tangkahan, a former transit site for illegal loggers, and in 2006 he was granted full civil servant employment with a monthly salary of Rp 350,000. He was appointed elephant coordinator in 2014 when the ownership of the elephants and their Conservation Response Unit management was officially transferred from BKSDA Aceh to Mount Leuser National Park Service. His current monthly salary is around Rp 3.5 million. To make ends meet, Sudiono has to engage in other activities such as asking his...