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Tamed elephants help persuade wild cousin to relocate

Faced with the difficult task of capturing a wild elephant in order to move it to a place of sanctuary, staff from Malaysia's Department of Wildlife and National Parks deployed their secret weapon: a pair of tame elephants named 'Timur' and 'Cek Mek.'

Bazuki Muhammad / Reuters

A tame elephant named 'Cek Mek' is driven through a village near Rompin, Malaysia on May 14. Cek Mek was used to accompany a newly captured wild elephant during its relocation from a forest in Kota Tinggi to the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary in Pahang.

Bazuki Muhammad / Reuters

A wild elephant is tranquilized as it is captured in a forest in Kota Tinggi on May 14.

Trained elephants are used to accompany captured wild elephants during the relocation process from their natural habitat, which can be threatened by the close proximity of human settlements. The presence of other elephants calms the frightened elephant, making it less likely to retaliate or attack the movers.

Bazuki Muhammad / Reuters

Cek Mek, right, makes the first contact with a newly captured wild elephant at a forest in Kota Tinggi on May 14.

Bazuki Muhammad / Reuters

A newly captured wild elephant is led out of a forest by trained elephants in Kota Tinggi on May 14.

Photographer Bazuki Muhammad accompanied the Elephant Management Unit as they transported the wild elephant from a forest in Kota Tinggi to the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary in Pahang.

Bazuki Muhammad / Reuters

Tame elephants Cek Mek, left, and Timur, right, play with a newly captured wild elephant at a forest in Kota Tinggi on May 14.

Bazuki Muhammad / Reuters

A newly captured wild elephant waits to be unloaded from a truck as it arrives at the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary outside Kuala Lumpur during the early hours of May 15, after a 9 hour journey.

According to Reuters, the department has relocated at least 600 wild elephants since 1974. Read more about the process at the Kuala Gandah sanctuary's website.