11 year old Rezakusuma stands at his school desk after I asked @pungkynandapratama to ask the class who had seen a Sumatran tiger, or Harimau in the indonesian language. All the kids stayed seated except for young Rezakusuma.
While staying with Pungky at his village in South Sumatra I visited the local schools that he teaches conservation at.
At this particular school we treked for 3 hours through the jungle to reach this remote village which lies on the perimeter of the Kerinci Seblat National Park, the second largest protected area in Sumatra after the Leuser.
Kerinci is a massive area with many parts still unexplored. But unfortunately more people are heading in to do illegal logging.
When we arrived at the school Pungky asked the kids if there had been any people coming to the village to look for animals. They said a man came to look for pangolins a few weeks before.
Being so close to a national park this village sees its fair share of illegal wildlife activities.
That’s why, Pungkys work in teaching the kids about the jungle and to conserve it is so vitally important.
It was amazing to see these shy kids get up in front of the class and draw the different hornbill species they had learnt with the different beaks and to learn about the different mammal species.
The most eye opening was when Pungky asked them to draw a picture of the jungle when people had interfered. There were trees cut down, the animals had no homes and the rivers were polluted. It was amazing that these kids knew what was happening to their jungle and also getting excited to save it.
These kids will be the future of Sumatra’s jungles!
I asked Pungky why he doesn’t teach the adults about Conservation but he said they are already chasing the money, the kids are different they are care free and can be taught to do the right things. I think to get the kids involved is one of the most important parts of conservation.
Anyways, little Rezakusuma was walking in the coffee plantation about 30 minutes from the village when he found tiger tracks.
He was looking for his father so he kept going. He then saw a tiger in front of him slinking off into the jungle, so he ran home very scared.