Workers scoop up dung from a Sumatran elephant at Taman Safari in Bogor, West Java, last Wednesday, Feb. 28. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
BY : YUDHA BASKORO
MARCH 04, 2019
Bogor. Apart from entertaining families with their collection of endangered animals, Taman Safari Park in Bogor, West Java, has another line of business: producing environmentally friendly, biodegradable paper made from elephant dung called, appropriately, the Safari Poo Paper.
Taman Safari has a herd of 50 Sumatran elephants whose droppings are processed into paper everyday. According to Iwan Setiawan, a worker at Safari Poo Paper, each elephant eats 250 kilograms of grass and other fibrous plant each day and most of it passes through their bodies undigested.
An adult Sumatran elephant can produce up to two tons of droppings each day that will make 4000 sheets of standard paper (A3 size). The quality is comparable to normal paper made from tropical timber and so is the price.
The first step in making Safari Poo Paper is cleaning the elephant dung and then drying it until the color turns brown. Clean dung is mixed with scrap paper and the mixture boiled into pulp. Just like normal pulp paper, the elephant dung pulp is then put through moulds and then dried again into the final product.
Elephants are a protected species in Indonesia. According to WWF Indonesia, there are only around 2400 to 2800 Sumatran elephants (Elephas maximus sumatranus) left in the wild. The greatest threat to their existence remains poaching. Many Sumatran elephants are being hunted, poisoned and shot for their tusks.