Friday, July 20, 2018

Wild elephant kills Buri Ram chilli farmer



A wild elephant killed a 38-year-old woman on her chilli farm in Buri Ram’s Lahan Sai district on Friday morning, though her husband managed to flee.

The incident prompted Tambon Nong Wang mayor Somwang Tonram to warn residents to stay clear of forests at night time when elephants are hunting for food.


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Former Radnor resident discovers a passion to save elephants in Thailand



Flora Sherry credits childhood trips, including a visit to Nepal while in high school, with fueling her wanderlust.

The 2002 Radnor High School graduate is now an expat based in Thailand, where she is teaching English and volunteering at Elephant Nature Park, a reserve for rescued elephants, every chance she gets.

“My family also instilled the love to travel and exploring other cultures,” Sherry said.

A brother, Keating Sherry, was working in China and suggested that Sherry apply for a job there. In 2014 she was hired to teach English to children from three to 18 in Shenzhen near Hong Kong.

From there she vacationed in northern Thailand, “and I fell in love with an elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai,” Sherry said. “And it’s a place where they rescue elephants and all types of animals.” She decided to move to Thailand. Back in China she saw a posting for a volunteer teacher in a village in Thailand and applied for it. That led to a job at an international school in Chiang Mai. She will be starting a new job at a bilingual school in that town in August. Sherry is certified in elementary and special education and also in teaching English as a foreign language. she holds an undergraduate degree from Eastern University and took master’s courses at Cabrini University to do her student teaching.

“I really enjoy teaching,” said Sherry. “I find that children are children, no matter where you go. I love working with kids, getting them to explore and learn new things. Teaching opens the window where I can live in the world. It gives me a lot of opportunities.”

“I think that people always say that it’s adventurous (to live overseas),” said Sherry. “For me it’s just figuring out what I want to do. I don’t consider myself to be brave. I just wanted to live abroad.”

“The food is great. There’s curries and noddle dishes there’s plenty of noodle dishes,” she said about Thailand. “Anything you want, you can find it in Chiang Mai.” Western dishes are also available.

“You always have to be careful (about contamination) but for the most part it’s pretty safe in the main cities,” she said. “I get smoothies and I don’t worry about ice at all. You can’t drink the water there but you can brush your teeth with the water.”


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Five wild elephants trample Thai man to death



A Thai man was trampled to death by five wild elephants near a rubber plantation Friday, police said, the latest deadly encounter in a country where pachyderms are both venerated and feared.


Masaree Samae, 40, was killed in the early morning attack in southern Yala province, home to many of Thailand's sprawling rubber plantations.

"The victim was riding his motorbike on the way to tap rubber... and was circled by five elephants," police captain Sathit Woonchoom told AFP by phone.


"I conducted the autopsy with a doctor and found wounds on his back and head," Sathit said.

The officer said he heard elephants rustling in the bushes near when he arrived at the scene to investigate.

Thailand's wild elephant population has dwindled to about 2,700 from a peak of 100,000 in 1850, according to the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre.

Deforestation and habitat loss has brought them in closer contact with humans in recent decades, and they often clash with villagers -- sometimes killing them.

Villagers have also killed the elephants despite them being a protected species.

Elephants are also poached or domesticated for entertainment and tourism.

Thailand has come under fire for its notorious elephant tourism trade and the threatened animals are widely used in circus performances, to give rides, or in films and on TV.

In November last year a five-tonne elephant that has starred in feature films and commercials crushed its owner to death in Chiang Mai.

The animal was in musth -- a state of high aggression among males accompanied by a hormonal surge -- when the accident happened, zoo officials said.

Two wild elephants were killed earlier this year by a pineapple farm worker who set up an electric fence set up to kill the creatures.

He was charged with poaching but quickly released on bail.


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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Trunk and disorderly: Elephant SMASHES tourist to the ground when he tries to touch it



This is the moment a tourist in Thailand got a mammoth surprise when he reached out to touch an elephant and it smashed him to the ground.

In the clip, Cody Stiner can be seen offering the animal a leaf and attempting to pet it. Seconds later, the elephant's tusk sends him flying into the dust.

The man landed on a pile of coconuts but was somehow uninjured.

Stiner was reportedly afraid the elephant was going to step on him and quickly got up and left after the terrifying encounter.

Despite their huge size, elephants are known to be gentle giants. But if agitated they can be aggressive and occasionally experience bouts of rage.

According to the National Geographic Channel documentary 'Elephant Rage', around 500 people are killed by elephant attacks each year.


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Elephants kick-off anti-gambling campaign



AYUTTHAYA/BANGKOK (Reuters) – Elephants kicked off World Cup fever in Thailand’s ancient capital of Ayutthaya on Tuesday, playing a soccer match to raise awareness against illegal gambling.

Nine elephants, painted with the flags of countries competing in this year’s World Cup in Russia, passed the ball to each other and swerved around the field in a 15-minute match against students from a local school.

Organisers said they wanted to show students the World Cup was more about enjoying the sport than betting on teams.

“They’re here to bring color and joy, and create awareness that we can enjoy the World Cup without gambling and just cheer the soccer players,” said Reangthongbaht Meephan, deputy chief of the Ayutthaya Elephant Palace and Royal Kraal.

Illegal gambling on the World Cup is prevalent in countries like Thailand and Malaysia, where football is hugely popular, but which don’t have legal betting alternatives.


To read the full article, click on the story title.

Disaster assistance for tambon plundered by wild elephants



KANCHANABURI: An area in Thong Pha Phum district has finally been declared a disaster zone after being pillaged for the last month by wild elephants, with residents too scared to work in their raided fields.

Provincial governor Jeetakiat Phumsawad on Wednesday declared tambon Tha Khanoon a disaster zone, 29 days after a man was injured in one of the first of the series of raids on May 16.


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Wayward elephant captured after months-long hunt




Sidor Daeng, a roguish 15-year-old male wild elephant weighing in at a hefty 7 seven tonnes, who has been recaptured in Chanthaburi and returned to his forest home in Sa Kaeo. Thailand's most wanted elephant has been recaptured after months of wandering, raiding crops and killing at least one person, and returned to the detention centre he fled from - for further attitude adjustment.


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Poachers feed China trade, threaten country’s elephants



Following a tip-off by villagers in early May, U Sai Nyi Nyi rushed to the forest in Kyauk Gyi village in Thabeikkyin township of Mandalay Region and found the remains of a dead female elephant. Her tusks and trunk had been cut off and her skin peeled off the right side of her body.

Elephant poachers hastily left when the villagers arrived. Such activity has become common in Thabeikkyin, where poachers in groups of five or more, impersonating wood cutters and armed with guns, enter the forest in search of prey.

“They usually stay in the jungle for many days,” U Sai Nyi Nyi, a member of the township wildlife conservation team, said. Her group has been raising awareness among villagers near the forest to help them protect wildlife from poachers.

He said the poachers first drive the elephants into a desired location and then shoot them with poisoned arrows or guns. Then they follow the wounded elephant till it falls dead, which may take two or more days.



The elephants, sensing danger, go near the villages, as poachers tend to avoid shooting them near populated areas. Wild elephants sometimes enter the fields near the villages apparently to seek refuge, U Sai Nyi Nyi said.

Demand for elephant skin has rapidly risen since last year, according to a study by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Myanmar. Many Chinese still believe that elephant skin can cure skin diseases and gastritis. It is also used in making jewellery. The increasing demand from China for elephant parts has led to the killing of more elephants in Myanmar.


 To read the full article, click on the story title.

Wild elephant found dead on roadside




A wild elephant was found dead on a roadside in Chachoengsao on Wednesday morning and national parks officials were trying to figure out what killed it. You Senatham, director of the Wildlife Conservation Office Area 2 said the dead male elephant was about 15 years old and was found on the side of Road 4022 in Sanam Chai Khet district.


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Thai elephant camp is pioneering elephant-friendly tourism in Thailand



Happy Elephant Care Valley, in Chiang Mai, Thailand is about to embark on a landmark agreement to become a truly elephant-friendly venue. This move will end all physical interaction between tourists and elephants at the camp, to meet the growing demand for responsible elephant experiences.

The transformation of the venue was initiated by animal welfare charity, World Animal Protection as part of a coalition of leaders in the travel industry, including TUI Group, The Travel Corporation (TTC), Intrepid Group, G Adventures, EXO Travel, Thomas Cook Group, and others.

Thousands of captive elephants in many venues across Thailand still give rides that are the result of a cruel and intensive training process. However, a 2017 KANTAR global poll shows a significant drop of 9% (to 44%) in the number of people who find elephant riding acceptable compared to just three years ago. The poll also shows that more than 80% of tourists would prefer to see elephants in their natural environment, proving elephant-friendly tourism is on the rise.

The elephants at Happy Elephant Care Valley were previously from farms and riding camps. Until recently it was possible for close interaction between tourists and the elephants at the venue, with tourists being able to ride, bathe and feed elephants. This stopped when the travel industry coalition presented a business case demonstrating the rise of elephant-friendly tourism.

The transition will see the elephants able to behave as they would in the wild; free to roam the valley, graze and bathe in rivers as tourists experience these wonders, standing at a safe distance.


To read the full article, click on the story title.

Elephant ‘electrocuted’ in Chachoengsao



CHACHOENGSAO, 21st June 2018 (NNT) – A wild elephant was found dead beside a road in Chachoengsao's Sanam Chaikhet district. Electrocution was suspected to be the cause of its death.

The male elephant, believed to be about 15 years old, was found lying dead on the road at the entrance to a villager's house that was cordoned off with barbed wire connected to a car battery.

A group of local administration officials, forest rangers, and police were dispatched to investigate the scene.

Villagers claimed that they protected their tapioca plantations by barricading them with barbed wires and connected them with car batteries to prevent wild animals from getting into their farms.

They claimed that the electrical power from the car batteries did not kill elephants, but merely scared them off.


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MSU student travels to Thailand to work with elephants



This summer, Katherine Bederka, 20, of Northville spent two weeks in Thailand helping animals and learning hands-on what it’s like to be a veterinarian. Traveling with study-abroad organization Loop Abroad, Bederka was selected as part of a small team that volunteered giving care at a dog shelter and spent a week working directly with rescued elephants at an elephant sanctuary.

The veterinary service program brings students to Thailand for two weeks to volunteer alongside veterinarians from the U.S. and Thailand. For one week, Bederka and her team volunteered at the Elephant Nature Park in northern Thailand to work hands-on with the giant animals and learn about animal rescue and conservation on a larger scale. The Elephant Nature Park is home to more than 60 elephants who have been rescued from trekking, logging or forced breeding programs. Many of them had been abused and suffer from chronic injuries or blindness. At the Elephant Nature Park, they are cared for by volunteers from all over the world. Bederka helped to feed and care for elephants, as well as learn about their diagnoses alongside an elephant vet. The Elephant Nature Park is also home to more than 1,000 other animals, including cats, dogs, water buffalo, horses and cows and is sustained in huge part by the work of weekly volunteers.

For the other week, Bederka volunteered at the Animal Rescue Kingdom dog shelter and helped to run Loop Abroad’s Dog Rescue Clinic in Chiang Mai, Thailand. These shelters are home to more than 200 dogs who have been rescued after being abandoned, beaten or abused. While the dogs can be adopted, any who aren’t will be cared for by the shelters for their whole lives.

While she studied under the veterinarians leading her group, Bederka and her team made a difference in the lives of these dogs. By providing check-ups and cleanings, diagnosing and treating ear and eye problems, taking and testing blood, administering vaccines, cleaning and treating wounds and helping with sterilization surgeries, the students were able to help support the health and well-being of these dogs.


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Waikato graduate to serenade rescued elephants in Thailand



During lullaby time at a Thailand sanctuary, Niamh Lovelock remembers elephants galumphing over from all corners to listen.

The rescued elephants would fall asleep at the feet of the singer, Lek, who founded Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, where Lovelock volunteered for a week.

Soon, Lovelock will be serenading elephants herself.

Later this year, the 22-year-old will head to Thailand where she's landed her dream role as a volunteer and education programme manager at Kwan Jai Elephant Foundation, founded by Viv and Jack Lanting.

Mistreated elephants will be rescued from places such as riding camps, circuses, street begging and the illegal logging industry.

And singing to them will be a part of their rehabilitation, Lovelock said.

"In any situation where they're answering to human command basically, they go through some sort of intensive training which is quite harmful to them mentally and physically. So they come to us with a lot of mental trauma.

"When we actually rescue them and take them from wherever they come from, we'll have them on the truck and I'll be on the truck singing to them and trying to calm them down and show them that we're not there to hurt them."

She's never sung to elephants, but has practiced on her rescue cat Pizza.

"I remember driving home with her and she was freaking out being in the car and I would start singing to her and she would sort of stop meowing and calm down a bit.

She reckons they will respond best to slow, low, soothing songs and classical music, like Mozart, although she'll also try some Irish folk songs and Māori music to honour her Irish and New Zealand roots.

Lovelock, who specialises in classical singing, completed her Bachelor of Arts majoring in Music at the University of Waikato in 2016.

She hadn't expected use her music degree this way, initially planning on a performance career.

But combining two life-long loves - singing and elephants, seems perfect.

Lovelock has always been drawn to elephants and even sports a tattoo of one on her back.





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Thursday, June 28, 2018

Don Village struggles to keep elephants for tourism



Y Nha, 37, is facing difficulties finding foods for his elephant which is working in the tourism services at Don Village Tourist Site in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak.

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Thailand’s most wanted elephant captured after months-long hunt



Park authorities and Sidor Daeng, the 15-year-old bull elephant, have played hide-and-seek since early January, when he wandered away from Khao Takrup, a forest area in Wang Nam Yen district of Sa Kaeo used as a detention centre for “problematic” wild animals. It is part of the Khao Ang Ru Nai Wildlife Sanctuary.

Sidor Daeng roamed the eastern region, raiding fruit orchards and crop fields and killing one person who got in his way.

Park officials described him as smart but moody, and ready to attack anyone who disturbs him. That made Sidor Daeng both difficult to find, and dangerous, they added.

After leaving the detention forest the elephant has attacked a motorcyclist in a rubber plantation in Na Yai Am district of Chanthaburi in January, killing the mother who was driving and seriously injuring her son, who was riding pillion.

Farmers in Sa Kaeo, Chanthaburi and Trat lived in fear after the return of Sidor Daeng. Many orchards in these provinces were damaged, and he was blamed.

“It’s back!! Plai Sidor Daeng comes down from Khao Soi Dao to raid Sa Kaeo,” screamed a headline on Matichon online on Jan 8. Plai means a male elephant in Thai.

Sidor Daeng was believed to have crossed the border to into Cambodia that month and later returned to Thailand. Most recently, he had been seen in the forest around Chanthaburi.

Park officials, local officials, soldiers and volunteers, about 100 in total, searched and searched for him and finally found the elephant at Ban Tabok Pia in Makham district at 8:30pm yesterday (June 14).

Five tranquilliser darts fired from guns were needed to sedate him, and a large backhoe from the Chanthaburi Provincial Administration Organisation (OrBorJor) to lift the seven-tonne elephant onto a 10-wheel truck. He was then returned to Khao Takrub.


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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

He's VERY attached! Baby elephant uses his mouth, trunk and full body weight to prevent tourist leaving after she petted him



This is the adorable moment a baby elephant won't let go of a tourist after she became acquainted with him before taking an elephant ride with his mother.

The cute footage was taken in the northern jungle of Thailand in early March and shows American tourist Jane Hight McMurry cuddling a baby elephant as they both lie together on the ground.

McMurry, a professional speaker and author, traveled to Phetchabun in the northern province for a day long adventure and to ride bareback on an elephant.

The footage begins as the baby elephant is resting his head in McMurry's lap as she pets him. She then tries to move away but the elephant, seemingly not finished with the attention, wraps his trunk around her leg.

He then playfully bites her foot and holds it in his mouth as she tumbles backwards trying to get away. The playful calf then climbs on top of her and wraps his tusk around her neck as she asks her group, who struggle to contain their giggles, 'what do I do?'

McMurry, who presents keynotes and seminars on leadership skills that maximize sales and workplace productivity, said: 'The elephant chosen for me was a new mother. It was important for me to get to know her calf before we began.

'As you can see, we got to know each other.'

The northern jungle in Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations for those who want to spot wild elephants roaming in their natural habitat.



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Injured wild elephant found in Udon Thani



UDON THANI, 27th May 2018 (NNT) - Park rangers and veterinarians have found an injured one-tusked elephant spotted at Phuwua Wildlife Sanctuary in Udon Thani province.

The elephant was found to be suffering from serious hind leg injuries. Observation cameras show the creature has been walking on its front legs and has had difficulty foraging for food. The veterinary team has given the jumbo tranquilizers followed by an intravenous drip, and pain and infection relief medications. The treatment took about an hour.

The veterinary team says the wounds on the elephant's tail and right knee are the most worrying, adding the wounded tail could affect its pelvis. The medications given to the seven-ton jumbo will take effect for as long as two weeks. Phuwua Wildlife Sancturay officials will observe its recovery process following the treatment procedure.


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Kanchanaburi villager killed by wild elephant


A volunteer helping park officials prevent a herd of wild elephants from invading a village in Kanchanaburi’s Thong Pha Phum district on Sunday evening was fatally kicked by a panicked elephant cow with child.

Thammasilp Ratananuphappoj, 54, a resident of Ban Pha An in Tambon Tha Khanoon, was pronounced dead at Thong Pha Phum Hospital.

Thong Pha Phum National Park officials told police they and local people were trying to block about 30 elephants from entering the village.

They said a female elephant with an infant became frightened and rushed at Thammasil, kicking him once, hard enough to hurl him five metres.

The elephants were herded back into the forest and the injured man was taken to hospital, too late to save him.


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 http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/breakingnews/30346425

Three elephants from the Thai nature reserve were disguised as pandas



Employees from elephant reserve in southern Thailand in the exhibition "1600 pandas" repainted three elephants in black and white colors such a way that they resemble pandas, according to "People's Daily Online".

The elephants were hand-painted: the legs, trunks and eyes of the animals were painted in black, and the trunks and heads - in white. For this, acrylic paint was used. Employee of the reserve said that the exhibition was only one day, and the elephants disguised as pandas spended there only for a couple of hours. Due to the characteristics of the elephant skin, the paint did not harm the animals.
Users of social networks reacted differently to the idea of employees of the reserve. On the one hand, they were accused of having deprived elephants of natural uniqueness. On the other hand, they expressed the opinion that elephants, like pandas, belong to endangered species of animals, and also deserve attention.

The exhibition "1600 pandas" was held on the territory of the elephant reserve and was devoted to the problem of the disappearance of pandas. Today, only 1600 animals live in the wild.

The idea of ?he exhibition belongs to the French artist Paulo Grangeon, who, in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund, decided to show what cities would look like if only pandas lived in them. For this he made 1600 animals from papier-mache. Since 2008, the artist visited with his exhibition such cities as: Paris, Rome, Berlin, Beijing, Hong Kong.


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Thai elephant camp is pioneering elephant-friendly tourism in Thailand


TORONTO: Happy Elephant Care Valley, in Chiang Mai, Thailand is about to embark on a landmark agreement to become a truly elephant-friendly venue. This move will end all physical interaction between tourists and elephants at the camp, to meet the growing demand for responsible elephant experiences.
The transformation of the venue was initiated by animal welfare charity, World Animal Protection as part of a coalition of leaders in the travel industry, including TUI Group, The Travel Corporation (TTC), Intrepid Group, G Adventures, EXO Travel, Thomas Cook Group, and others.

Thousands of captive elephants in many venues across Thailand still give rides that are the result of a cruel and intensive training process. However, a 2017 KANTAR global poll shows a significant drop of 9% (to 44%) in the number of people who find elephant riding acceptable compared to just three years ago. The poll also shows that more than 80% of tourists would prefer to see elephants in their natural environment, proving elephant-friendly tourism is on the rise.

The elephants at Happy Elephant Care Valley were previously from farms and riding camps. Until recently it was possible for close interaction between tourists and the elephants at the venue, with tourists being able to ride, bathe and feed elephants. This stopped when the travel industry coalition presented a business case demonstrating the rise of elephant-friendly tourism.



To read the full article, click on the story title.


The sanctuary saving Thailand's disappearing elephants: #WorldEnvironmentDay



Beyond the amazing food, glittering temples and famously friendly culture, the country has yet another precious commodity: its elephants.
And at Elephant Nature Park, an elephant rescue and rehabilitation center in the Chiang Mai countryside, you'll be surrounded by them.
A dwindling population

Thailand has long been home to these beautiful beasts, but experts estimate the elephant population has dwindled to 3,000-4,000 (down from 100,000) over the past century.

The decline is mostly due to threats from tourism, logging, poaching and human encroachment on elephant habitats. While the majority of Thailand's remaining elephants are living in the wild inside National Parks Reserves, roughly 10% continue to suffer in terrible conditions.

That's where Elephant Nature Park comes in.

Located about 37 miles (60 kilometers) from Chiang Mai, the park has rescued more than 200 elephants from the tourism and logging industries since its inception in the 1990s.

"You know many tourists who have seen elephants in Thailand, they want to come and ride them," Sangdeaun "Lek" Chailert, founder of Elephant Nature Park, tells CNN. "But I think it's very important to come here and care for elephants, rather than use the animals for entertainment."

A walk in the park

At the Elephant Nature Park, volunteers and visitors have an opportunity to interact with more than 70 elephants across the 250-acre grounds.

Instead of potentially harmful activities, such as rides, volunteers can participate in a variety of experiences, from bathing and feeding elephants, to following them on jungle treks.

During half-day or overnight visits, travelers might meet Dok Geaw -- a baby elephant just born in May 2017 -- as well as Tilly, who was rescued from a trekking camp, and Sook Jai, who was once a street beggar in the city.

The park also offers seven-day volunteer experiences.

It's not just elephants. The sanctuary also rescues dogs, cats, birds and buffaloes.

"Elephants teach me a lot," says Sangdeaun. "They have this love that humans.


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 https://en.mogaznews.com/World-News/924731/The-sanctuary-saving-Thailands-disappearing-elephants---WorldEnvironmentDay.html

Villagers wilting under elephant invasion want assistance




KANCHANABURI: Local officials want a tambon that borders on heavily forested mountains declared a disaster area because of the frequent raids by wild elephants. Villagers in tambon Tha Khanoon of Thong Pha Phum district are suffering from the depredations of a herd of at least 50 elephants that has been raiding their crops.


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“Disaster zone” proposed for areas attacked by wild elephants



Villagers from Thong Pha Phum district of Kanchanaburi province have proposed that areas prone to attacks by wild elephants be declared a disaster zone.

The villagers made this proposal during a meeting to lay down measures to cope with the problem of wild elephants invading villages and plantations in Thong Pha Phum district.

The meeting, chaired by deputy governor Anan Nakniyom, passed a resolution for the proposal to be forwarded to the provincial governor to declare areas frequently attacked by wild elephants a disaster zone.

With the declaration of the disaster zone, it would be easier for officials concerned to seek budgets to help people affected by the wild elephant attacks .

The proposal was made after about 40-50 wild elephants from the Thong Pha Phum National Park invaded villages and plantations in Thong Pha Phum district, particularly in Tambon Tha Khanoon, to forage for food. A unit of defence volunteers has been set up to drive away the elephants. In a recent operation, one of the volunteers was killed and one seriouisly injured by the elephants.

The defence volunteers, with support from officials from the Thong Pha Phum National Park, local administrations, police and military personnel, have conducted patrols for past one month, but they have not been successful in driving away the wild elephants.


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Kumki 2 based on boy-elephant bond



While Madhiyazhagan is the lead protagonist, the heroine is yet to be finalised. RJ Balaji and Susan are also part of the cast.

Kumki, the debut film of Vikram Prabhu in Prabhu Solomon’s direction released in 2012, was a sleeper hit which was also applauded for its making style and music. After six years, Solomon is gearing up with Kumki 2. However, he says that he has retained only the title because the film has an elephant in the central character.

“The film is not a sequel to Kumki. There’s no connection between the two stories. The movie is about the bond shared between a baby elephant and a small boy and how they grow up together and the incidents that take place narrated in a realistic manner,” reveals the filmmaker.

While Madhiyazhagan is the lead protagonist, the heroine is yet to be finalised. RJ Balaji and Susan are also part of the cast. Unnikrishnan is the name of the elephant, which plays the titular role.

“We did extensive search in India, Burma, Thailand and Sri Lanka for the baby elephant. There were problems getting permission as well. Finally, we zeroed in on a baby elephant in Thailand, which was cooperating with us. We completed two schedules in Thailand quickly”, Solomon adds.

This time around instead of his regular composer Imman, the director has opted for Nivas Prasanna for music.


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https://www.deccanchronicle.com/entertainment/kollywood/130618/kumki-2-based-on-boy-elephant-bond.html









Elephants join police, psychiatrists to kick football gambling into touch



THAI YOUTHS deemed vulnerable to football gambling are under the spotlight as the month-long 2018 Fifa World Cup prepares to kick off in Russia tomorrow.

The Mental Health Department yesterday announced a gambling rehabilitation hotline 1323 and a Facebook page – @GamblingCounseling1323 – to offer counselling services from June 14 onwards, while 19 hospitals will open their doors to give further aid.

The moves are in parallel to a police vow yesterday to crack down on football gambling bookies and debt-collecting violence, block 1,000 gambling websites and probe 1,000 celebrity promoters.

Even elephants in Ayutthaya clambered aboard the bandwagon yesterday, displaying their football skills as part of an anti-gambling campaign.

Mental Health Department director general Dr Boonreung Traireungworarat yesterday led a Pathum Thani training workshop for 60 psychiatric hospital workers on how to aid gambling addicts’ rehabilitation.

Boonreung said Thai children and youths were most vulnerable to football betting amid the World Cup hype being boosted by the Internet era where anyone could gain access to all kinds of websites.

A 2015 survey found 53 per cent of kids had accessed gambling websites and become vulnerable to addiction since their brain’s frontal lobe, responsible for reasoning and self-restraint, wasn’t yet fully developed. Youths’ gambling addiction could lead to social issues such as theft, prostitution, or even depression and suicide. Hence the hotline 1323 would provide advice around the clock, the Facebook page would offer free counselling from 2.30pm to 10.30pm during the tournament and 19 hospital clinics would be on hand to aid those attempting to kick their gambling addiction, Boonreung said.



 To read the full article, click on the story title.





Saturday, June 09, 2018

Money, traditional beliefs fuel wildlife trade in Thailand



Affluence, a strong business network, and cultural beliefs are significant catalysts behind a burgeoning wildlife trade in Thailand, a recent consumer research report claimed.

Around two percent of the Thai population own or use ivory parts or products, and one percent own or use tiger parts or products. Nearly 90 percent of ivory consumers and 82 percent of tiger consumers feel buying these products is socially acceptable, according to the report commissioned by the US Agency for International Development Wildlife Asia (USAID).

The researchers from Chulalongkorn University and Ipsos, a market research organization, interviewed nearly 1,000 respondents to understand people’s perceptions and beliefs regarding ivory and tiger parts. A large number of them believe that ivory protects the owner, helps in overcoming obstacles, creates goodwill and enhances one’s appearance. Similarly, tiger parts and products are perceived to improve charisma, bring good fortune and provide protection from evil or harm.

Responses from the consumers also revealed that sacred images, small carvings and amulets are the most popular ivory and tiger items purchased. Ivory accessories and jewelry, because they are beautiful and attractive, remain popular with female consumers. Meanwhile, male consumers prefer to buy tiger parts.


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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Major travel agents have promised to crack down on animal cruelty. But new evidence shows otherwise.



Some of the biggest holiday companies – including Tui and Expedia – have previously made pledges to protect animal welfare. But Which? has published research showing that this is far from the case.
Lip service

In 2013, the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) released a handbook [pdf] titled ‘Global Guidance for Animals in Tourism’. Travel agent Thomas Cook helped to develop these animal welfare guidelines. It claims to be an “industry leader in animal welfare”, and has stopped “selling elephant rides or shows in any of its markets”.

Yet despite the ban, tourists on Thomas Cook holidays are still riding elephants. Which? highlights:


Other industry giant[s], including Trailfinders, Virgin Holidays and Expedia, also vowed to take a tougher stance on animal welfare. But nine out of ten companies we investigated were still selling tickets to facilities where animals are reportedly kept in poor conditions, or are forced to perform for entertainment.
A widespread issue

Back in 2015, travel company Tui signed a pledge to stop selling tickets to abusive elephant rides and shows. It said:


Elephant rides and elephant shows are stressful for the animals and harm their wellbeing.


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Wildlife tourism in Thailand is like visiting 'house of horrors' says Leamington photojournalist



WILDLIFE tourism in Thailand is like ‘visiting a house of horrors’ says a photojournalist from Leamington.

Aaron Gekoski has been documenting the plight of animals around the world for some years – from the habit destruction caused by the palm oil industry in Borneo, to shark finning in Mozambique and seal culling in Nambia.

Now the 37-year-old has turned his attention to Thailand where he says more than half a million animals are taken from the wild to a life of squalor and abuse in the form of neglectful zoos, elephant-back safaris, monkey theatres, dolphin shows and more.

He said: “Their spirits are broken by handlers, who beat them into submissive states – elephants, for example, go through ‘the crush’ – a form of torture designed to break their spirits. They then live the rest of their lives in unsuitable habitats and are abused and mistreated on a daily basis.

“What I saw was truly shocking – orangutans forced to box each other in humiliating routines, elephants which appeared so drugged they could barely walk, monkeys yanked around on chains and made to ride bikes, a gorilla living in a filthy cell at the top of a shopping mall.

“There’s zero justification for this – it’s all about maximising profits. The fact they’re allowed to operate legally is astounding.

“There must be a crackdown on these abusive operators.”

Aaron – whose adventures began with a film course in South Africa’s Kruger National Park – has made a series of short films which has captured the attention of authorities in Thailand. The series shows animals being force-fed, dressed up in clothes, stuck in tiny cages and being struck for bad behaviour.


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Speaker-equipped drone helps drive away wild elephants



The test at the Phu Sai-Sai En area and some farmland around Anant School in Tambon Huai Sat Yai of Hua Hin yielded a satisfactory result. The team, led by lecturer Suwat Techapetchpaiboon, plans to propose to the university council to allow real use of such speaker-equipped drones under the supervision of park officials, Mana said.



This might be useful in preventing elephants from disturbing roads and farmlands as some elephants had been spotted on roads in Hua Hin lately, Mana said.



Mana had earlier advised motorists on the Hua Hin-La Au Road in Tambon Huai Sat Yai to beware of a seven-strong herd of wild elephants roaming the area during late afternoon to evening. There was also another herd of nine elephants (four old ones, three young adults and two babies) found roaming the road’s 15-kilometre marker area last week.


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Friday, May 11, 2018

8 wild tuskers stranded at Kondalogam



Srikakulam: A herd of eight wild elephants are stranded at Kondalogam forest area in Palasa mandal on Monday. The elephants are not moving the way showed by the trained elephants Jayanthi and Ganesh, which were brought from Kuppam forest area in Chittoor district in March.

The wild tuskers are stranded at Kondalogam forest in Palasa mandal. The forest officials alerted the locals as with public announcement system explaining them not to provoke the wild tuskers and not to move out alone in the evenings.

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Four More Elephants Killed by Indian Train. Stop the 'Massacre of Elephants' Now!



A massacre of elephants" -- That's what Dr. Biswajit Mohanty, a former member of the National Board of Wildlife, called the train collision in India that occurred earlier this month.



Four elephants, including a big tusker and a calf were killed when a train crashed into the heard that was attempting to cross the rails.


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To save Elephants’ lives, Indian Railways to impose Speed Restrictions



NEW DELHI: The Indian Railways has imposed speed restrictions of 30kmph to 50kmph along several stretches of tracks in the Northeast to treat a jumbo-sized problem — speeding trains crashing into elephants.

The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR), which controls tracks in areas having the densest elephant population between Siliguri in West Bengal to deep inside eastern Assam, has identified stretches with a combined length of 207km where trains will slow down, according to officials familiar with the developments.

Railway data shows that 70 elephants have died after being hit by trains since 2013. NFR and the forest department records say train-hits killed 16 elephants in 2016, and at least a dozen last year. Four elephants were killed when a passenger train hit a herd crossing the tracks in central Assam this February, the worst tragedy after five elephants, including a pregnant female, died in similar circumstances last December.

The slowdown means trains will be delayed by 30 minutes to two hours in the region.

A train moving through the entire length of a restricted corridor would be delayed by three hours, but the delays will be less as alternative routes have been chosen, a railway official familiar with the plan said.

“It has been decided that signboards will be out up at all identified elephant corridors to warn train drivers,” said Pranav Jyoti Sharma, the NFR spokesperson.

The stretches where trains will slow down include 62 identified elephant corridors. Elephants are migratory by nature and move from one forest to another for food through these corridors, but trains hurtling down tracks that cut through natural habitat have become a rising threat for them.

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Alarming rise in deaths of people, elephants in human-animal conflict in Odisha



BHUBANESWAR: The ever-increasing deaths of elephants as well as people in human-animal conflicts in Odisha has alarmed environmentalists and wildlife enthusiasts who blame the state Forest Department's "callous approach" for the problem and have sought an urgent action plan to prevent loss of lives.

Data released by the Wildlife Society of Odisha (WSO), in collaboration with Wildlife Protection Society of India and Elephant Family, show that, since 1990, nearly 1,400 elephants have died because of human-animal conflict, of which 591 died in the last eight years.

In the same period, 1,200 people have been killed by elephants, with the last eight years accounting for 569 of them.

From an average mortality of 33 per year between 1990 and 2000, the number grew to 46 per year between 2000 and 2010 and reached an alarming average of 73 elephants per year from 2010-11 to 2017-18.

If the rising death trend continues, it spells doom for the species as it might significantly overtake the birth rate, WSO Secretary Biswajit Mohanty said.

According to the data, of the 591 elephants' deaths since 2010, 207 died due to unnatural reasons like poaching (95) and electrocution (87); trains killed 23, two died in road accidents and seven elephants died falling into open wells.

The reasons could not be deterrmined in 111 deaths, primarily due to the fact that by the time the bodies were found, they were in highly decomposed. Since April 2015, 80 bodies were found in such as state.

"On an average Odisha is losing 18 adult breeding male elephants each year. In the last five years at least 62 adult males have been poached, but not a single culprit has been apprehended till now due to lack of an effective intelligence network," said Mohanty, accusing the Forest Department of doing precious little to protect the adult breeding males.

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Three tribal villages of Assam open up their homes



A homestay initiative started by the Balipara Foundation might just become a worthy lesson in the tribal culture of certain villages in Assam. Starting this month, three villages — Balingaon Mishing, Sengelimari Garo and Phuloguri Nyishi — will have designated homes that will function as homestays for anybody who wants to visit. The three villages represent three tribes from the region: Mishing, Garo and Nyishi.

“The project is part of the larger Rural Futures (RuFu) plan aimed at restoration of habitats, community development and improvement of the socio-economic condition of the villagers,” says Saurav Malhotra of the Balipara Foundation. The foundation has been around since 2007 working towards the conservation and preservation of the ecosystem of the eastern Himalayan region. In 2016, it launched Elephant Country initiative, with an aim to preserve the habitat of the Asian Elephant and mitigate the man-elephant conflict by creating an effective elephant corridor in Assam’s Udalgiri region.

For the homestay project, the foundation has collaborated with the Mahila Shakti Kendra (MASK) Balipara that works for the cause of women empowerment in the region, specifically the Balipara development block. MASK works with 106 self help groups spanning more than 300 villages. In the homestay project, the registered beneficiary of each household in the village is a woman. “We helped the Balipara Foundation connect with women from various self-help groups,” says Dhruba Das of MASK, “Tourism is a big component of livelihood here.”

Guests will be able to tour the village, participate in traditional village activities from weaving to farming, sample local cuisine and spend the night in a chang-ghar, an authentic hut on stilts, typical of the architecture of the region. The night stay is priced at about Rs 2,000 while individual activities are charged for separately. “The benefits for the villagers are two-fold,” says Malhotra, “It helps the individual homeowners, and adds to the economic independence of the community too.” Fees for the tours in the villages, the food prepared, cultural performances etc. go directly to the community.


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Two persons trample to death by wild elephants



Jamshedpur, May 3 Two persons, including an elderly woman, were trampled to death by wild elephants in East Singhbhum district, Forest Department officials said today.

A 20-year-old youth identified as Dharmi Mardi was today crushed to death by elephants, when he went to the fields in Jwalbhanga village, they said.

The tuskers had trampled to death the elderly woman near Baharaagora village yesterday, the officials said.

The elephants had sneaked into the district from adjoining Odisha and West Bengal, they said.

Divisional Forest Officer S Alam Ansari said two teams have been pressed into service to drive away the elephants.

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Heatstroke kills elephant in Jharkhand’s Palamau



RANCHI : A four-year-old male elephant died of heat stroke in Betla region of Palamau Tiger Reserve, forest officials said on Sunday. “The elephant was found dead on Saturday, and had probably died on Friday of heat stroke,” said field director MP Singh.

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Assam: Herd of elephants trampled 60-year-old in Dibrugarh



GUWAHATI, May 3, 2018: In yet another conflict between man and animal, a 60-year-old was trampled to death by a herd of elephants at Panichukia Bongaon of Namrup in Dibrugarh district on Tuesday.

As per to the sources, a man identified as Joseph Urang was trampled by a herd of wild elephants which came out of Jeypore reserve forest and entered the Panichukia Bongaon area on Tuesday morning.

The herd created havoc by destroying many houses. Urang was trampled by the elephants while he was sleeping inside his house.

Last month, three persons had been trampled to death by wild elephants in Upper Assam.

“Villagers informed us about the elephant depredation in the area. We immediately rushed into the spot and with the help of the villagers, we chased away the herd of wild elephants from the village towards the Jeypore reserve forest, using fire crackers,” said a forest official.

He said Urang was immediately taken to the nearby hospital but doctors declared him brought dead.

The man-elephant conflict has been increasing in Upper Assam and so far four persons have been killed by elephants.

A source said a herd of elephants frequently comes out of the reserve forest in search of food.


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Elephant attack kills teenager




A teenage boy was trampled to death by an elephant and two others sustained severe injuries in the attack at Uttar Shilkhali village in Cox's Bazar's Taknaf upazila on Wednesday night, reports UNB.


The deceased was identified as Shamsu Uddin, 12, son of late Aflat Hossain of the village.

Locals said Shamsu along with his two fellows went to patrol their paddy field near their house on Wednesday night.

A wild elephant attacked them around 3:30am while they were sleeping, leaving Shamsu dead on the spot.

His two friends -- Belal Uddin and Rabiul Alam -- were severely injured in the attack.

The body was handed over to the family while the injured were admitted to Teknaf hospital for treatment, said Ranjit Barua, officer-in-charge of Teknaf model police station.


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Alarming rise in deaths of people, elephants in human-animal conflict in Odisha



Bhubaneswar– The ever-increasing deaths of elephants as well as people in human-animal conflicts in Odisha has alarmed environmentalists and wildlife enthusiasts who blame the state Forest Department’s “callous approach” for the problem and have sought an urgent action plan to prevent loss of lives.

Data released by the Wildlife Society of Odisha (WSO), in collaboration with Wildlife Protection Society of India and Elephant Family, show that, since 1990, nearly 1,400 elephants have died because of human-animal conflict, of which 591 died in the last eight years.

In the same period, 1,200 people have been killed by elephants, with the last eight years accounting for 569 of them.

From an average mortality of 33 per year between 1990 and 2000, the number grew to 46 per year between 2000 and 2010 and reached an alarming average of 73 elephants per year from 2010-11 to 2017-18.

If the rising death trend continues, it spells doom for the species as it might significantly overtake the birth rate, WSO Secretary Biswajit Mohanty said.

According to the data, of the 591 elephants’ deaths since 2010, 207 died due to unnatural reasons like poaching (95) and electrocution (87); trains killed 23, two died in road accidents and seven elephants died falling into open wells.

The reasons could not be deterrmined in 111 deaths, primarily due to the fact that by the time the bodies were found, they were in highly decomposed. Since April 2015, 80 bodies were found in such as state.

“On an average Odisha is losing 18 adult breeding male elephants each year. In the last five years at least 62 adult males have been poached, but not a single culprit has been apprehended till now due to lack of an effective intelligence network,” said Mohanty, accusing the Forest Department of doing precious little to protect the adult breeding males.


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Dudhwa-bound elephants take a break in city, pull crowds

Nagpur: At a time when Maharashtra forest department is unable to get its own elephant rescue unit at Pench in place by shifting seven tuskers from Gadchiroli, Uttar Pradesh forest department is transporting 11 pachyderms from Karnataka to Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.
In one of the biggest such exercises eight elephants and three calves are being moved over 2,500km from south to north in 10 trucks. The convoy on Thursday morning took break at Fetri near Gorewada in order to protect the elephants from scorching sun, drawing curious onlookers to the spot.

“The trucks carrying elephants had stopped at Gorewada for feeding, bathing and health check-up. We are taking them for rhino monitoring and patrolling. They will also be helpful for tackling man-animal conflict. We have 13 elephants at Dudhwa camps,” said Mahavir Koujalagi, deputy director, Dudhwa, who is leading the group.

“To restore number of elephants in the camps, Karnataka has come to our rescue by gifting these elephants. The job becomes tougher in Terai region during rainy season when forest is dense,” says Koujalagi.

He along with one ACF, three foresters, one RFO and three vets, besides 60 others including transporters, drivers, mahouts, caretakers, and labourers are taking care of the tuskers during transit.

Apart from trucks carrying the elephants, there are three cars and a jeep for vets and motor pump to draw water. There are water tanks of 200 litres in the truck from which they can drink water. Two trucks carry feed like water melons, sugarcane, green grass, coconuts, and jaggery etc.

WWF-India’s senior project manager Ajinkya Bhatkar was present at the spot and coordinated team’s visit with the help of Gorewada officials. “As per request by UP PCCF (wildlife) SK Upadhyay, our field formations have been coordinating with the convoy throughout the tour. We got water tankers at Fetri and water melons to avoid dehydration to animals,” said Bhatkar.


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Baby elephant separated from mother and herd



Forest officials are trying their best since Wednesday night to unite a four month old female elephant separated from her mother and the herd, in Chhendipada forest range of Dhenkanal district, but have failed to achieve any success.

The baby elephant after being separated from the herd is roaming around in the villages of Dhenkanal and Nuagaon under the Chhendipada forest range since last night.

Chhendipada Range officer Durga said, "We expect the herd to come to her in the night and take her back."Mr Sahu said a herd of about 10 elephants came close to Nuagana village on Wednesday night. It was raining. The baby elephant got separated from her mother and the herd. While the herd went inside the forest the baby elephant was left in the village.

The animal is hale and hearty and there is no injury on her body, he informed.

"Since then she has been moving here and there around the village but not venturing into the jungle due to crowd gathering around her. She appeared to be weak and is being provided water. Water is also being sprinkled upon her,"said Mr Sahu.

The Ranger said her movement is being closely monitored and will be sent back to nearby forest where her herd is staying if the herd did not come to take her.

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Elephant missing in Bunbury after falling from trailer



An elephant is on the loose in Bunbury after the creature is thought to have leapt to its freedom from a trailer in the CBD.

The 40cm tall Indian Elephant knick-knack was on its way to Afez of the Heart in Bunbury before it appears it jumped (fell) to its freedom on Spencer Street near the ALDI supermarket.

The unique and colourful collectable made its escape about 12.40pm Wednesday.

Owners Emma and Brett Kenward have offered a reward for the elephants return and have reassured the community that it is safe to approach the creature.

“Should anyone come across the elephant they’re encouraged to approach him, he’ll be lonely and looking to rejoin his herd,” they said.

“He should be easily recognisable – he’s 40cm tall and brightly painted.

“The elephant had just been released from a sea container with new stock from India and was being taken to our Victoria Street shop when he must have jumped to freedom.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the shop on 9791 8766.




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Watermelons, cucumbers for elephants from Karnataka



Shahjahanpur: A convoy of 10 elephants on board 10 trucks from Karnataka is expected to arrive at Dudhwa Tiger Reserve (DTR) on Saturday. The Karnataka government has gifted the 10 trained elephants to DTR.


The herd comprises eight females and two males. Once it arrives at DTR, the total number of trained elephants at the reserve will rise to 23. .


According to information available here, the convoy had entered Lalitpur district in UP. It is expected to halt in Lucknow before embarking on the last leg of the 2,500-km journey to DTR in Lakhimpur Kheri district. The convoy comprises 10 trucks with an elephant on board each, two additional trucks with supplies along with 30 support staff from Karnataka, Dudhwa and WWF.


In view of the scorching heat, forest officials are taking extra care to ensure that the pachyderms are confortable. A supply of cucumbers and watermelons have been provided to rehydrate them regularly, forest officials said here The elephants is checked every hour during the journey by a team of veterinarians to ensure all is well.


The journey to DTR started from Nagarhole Tiger Reserve in Karnataka on Monday. The convoy has passed through Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh before entering UP.


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Two persons trample to death by wild elephants



Two persons trample to death by wild elephants have been pressed into service to drive away the elephants..

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Wild elephant kills two in Odisha village



Two persons were trampled to death by a wild elephant when they were sleeping at their home in a village in Odisha’s Sambalpur district on Friday night. The elephant also pulled down their house. The deceased were identified as Sambhu Bhoi, 65, and Daimati Bhoi, 70. This month, 13 have died in man-elephant conflict in the State, while 18 have been injured.

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Jumbo kills two in Sambalpur village



Sambalpur/Mayurbhanj: There is no end to the conflict between human beings and elephants.

In a fresh incident, two elderly persons were killed in an elephant attack in the wee hours of Saturday at Makarkenda village under Charmal police limits. On the other hand, an elephant died after being struck by lightning in Mayurbhanj district.

The deceased were identified as Sambhu Bhoi, 65, and Dayimati Bhoi, 70, of Makarkenda village under Redhakhol block.

According to villagers, the elephant was attracted by the smell of mahua stored in the village. It pulled down the house of Dayimati at the outset and killed her as she came out to know what was going on.

Her neighbour Sambhu became the animal’s next victim as he came out to help her. The elephant dragged him for about 100 metres from his home and killed him.

Assistant conservator of forest (ACF) Mayadhar Mohapatra and range officer Ramesh Karna from Badamal range office rushed to the spot soon after they were informed about the incident. The officials lodged a report at Charmal police station in this connection.

Police took the bodies to Redhakhol sub-divisional hospital for post-mortem. The next of the kin of the deceased would be given Rs 40,000/- as ex-gratia initially for the last rites and other connected expenses, according to forest officials.

Two people were killed Tuesday night in separate incidents of elephant attack near Garposh under Bamra forest division in Sambalpur district.

Similarly, an elephant, aged about five to six years, died in Badmapur forest under Betanoti range in Mayurbhanj district.

Forest officials visited the spot Saturday, but were unable to ascertain the cause of its death. It is suspected that the animal might have died due to lightning strike.

Forest officials, however, said the reason for its death will be known after post-mortem.

About six elephants of Similipal were spotted in Betanoti forest for about a week. One of the elephants was spotted at Kapei village Friday, but its carcass was found at Patharbai, about one and a half kilometre away.

There were heavy thundershowers Friday night in the area and the animal might have died due to lightning strike, locals said.




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Elephant tramples farmer to death in Cuttack



CUTTACK: Tension prevailed at Salijanga village in Athagarh in the district on Saturday after a man was trampled to death by an elephant.
The deceased was identified as Shyamsundar Mohanty, a farmer of Salijanga village. Eyewitnesses said Mohanty along with other famers had gone to his agriculture field to pluck vegetables at around 4am. When the farmers were busy in plucking vegetables, suddenly a wild tusker entered the field.

On seeing the pachyderm, farmers ran away but 42-year-old Shyam Sundar could not escape. The elephant dragged the farmer with his trunk and trampled him to death. Mohanty died on the spot. Locals informed forest officers who rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation.

Soon after the incident, tension prevailed at the village. Angry villagers staged dharna demanding compensation for the deceased’s family. The agitators also alleged that forest department officials have been doing nothing to drive away elephants from their fields.

“We were busy plucking brinjals when suddenly the elephant ran towards us. Out of fear, some of ran away from poor Shyam sundar could not escape. The elephant trampled him brutally under its feet,” said Sankar, an eye-witness. Villagers also alleged that the animal also damaged bi-cycles of the farmers kept near the farmland.

“Elephant never enters our village. We did not know how and from where the elephant ventured into our field,” said a relative of Shyam Sundar. The deceased’s family and villagers have blamed forest officials negligence for the death of the farmer. They alleged that the forest officials arrived late at the spot and did not take appropriate steps to drive away the tusker.

However, forest officials have refuted the allegations. “Our men reached spot on time but by then the elephant had already killed the farmer and fled from the spot,” said a forest official, R Nayak. Forest officials said the lone male elephant has got detached from its herd and venturing into villages in the Athagarh forest division. “We are trying our best to drive away the elephant back to the forest,” said the forest official.

A compensation of Rs 40,000 was provided to kin of the deceased following which the agitation was called off. After arrival of the postmortem report, forest department will provide a compensation of Rs 4 lakh the bereaved family.




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Another elephant found dead in Erode district



Erode (TN), May 5 (PTI) The carcass of a 15-year-old female elephant was found at Anthiyur today, forest officials said.

A veterinarian was called in to conduct an autopsy and the report is awaited.

Officials suspect that the elephant might have died due to dehydration.

On April 28, a 10-year-old tusker died of starvation in the Satyamangalam Tiger Reserve near here.PTI COR NVG BN BN

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One more elephant dies of electrocution in TN



The male elephant was found dead near the farm land in Elanchi village under Kadambur forest in STR yesterday and a veterinarian declared it died of electrocution, they said.

A case had been registered in this connection and a search was on for owner of the farm, Krishnasamy, police said adding the fence had been put up to protect the crop.

The incident comes close on the heels of a similar tragedy on May 3 when a male elephant, believed to be 11 years old, was electrocuted in Neithalapuram village in the STR.

It too had come into contact with an illegal high-voltage fence erected to prevent animals from entering farm lands and damage crops.

The latest incident is also the third elephant death recorded in the district in as many days as a 15-year old pachyderm died in Anthiyur yesterday due to dehydration.

Deaths of elephants and other wild animals due to electrocution is a wild animalsrecurring problem in forest fringes where several farmers go for the illegal wired fence to prevent damage to their crops.

Though rules permit energising fences with low voltage to give a mild shock to keep away animals from entering farms, often the farmers resort to installing 230 volt fencing.

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Slaughtered and SKINNED to make Chinese medicines: Boom in demand for elephant hide fuels 'non-stop' killing in Myanmar and 'is a bigger threat to the species than the ivory trade'



A boom in Chinese demand for elephant skin is fuelling 'non-stop' killing of the animals in Myanmar and is a bigger threat to Asian herds than the ivory trade, activists have warned.

Shocking photos have emerged showing piles of grey hide and carcasses of skinned elephants left to rot by cruel poachers in Myanmar's forests.

The biggest market for the products is in China, where the tough skin is ground up and used to treat stomach or human skin ailments, or sold as jewellery in the form of blood-red beads and pendants.

Conservationists from Britain's Elephant Family, say the items are increasingly advertised and sold on the internet and warned the industry is posing a threat to Asia's wild herds even greater than the ivory trade.

It says the threat is currently greatest in Myanmar, but warns that the Asian elephant could become extinct in half the areas where it ranges if the problem escalates.

The threat exceeds that from the ivory trade because poachers are targeting any elephant, not just those with tusks, the group claimed in a new study called 'Skinned: The growing appetite for Asian Elephants'.

Unlike poaching for ivory, the skin trade does not discriminate between genders and ages in elephants, making them far more vulnerable.

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Elephant palace in Ayutthaya to be renovated



AYUTTHAYA, 6th May 2018 (NNT) - The Fine Arts Department will spend 30 million baht on improving the Ayutthaya Elephant Palace and Royal Kraal.

Sacred and rare rituals will be carried out at the facility on Monday to mark the start of conservation efforts. Brahmin priests and elephant masters will perform the rituals.

Ayutthaya Elephant Palace and Royal Kraal Manager Ittiphan Khaolamai said today’s rituals must be held in line with ancient tradition to ask for permission from sacred beings to start the renovation or development efforts.

Following the renovation, relevant authorities will increase promotion of the Ayutthaya Elephant Palace and Royal Kraal among tourists.


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Traffic blocked as elephant steals sugarcane from trucks in Thailand



BANGKOK: February, 20, 2018: An elephant held up traffic flow on road by stealing sugarcane from the passing trucks.

Interesting situation was witnessed when an elephant wandered on Chachoengsao road for two hours and tried to steal sugarcane from over twelve vehicles.

Witnesses said that he was a big elephant so no one dared to go near him and push him back into the trees.

The Wildlife department officials said that the elephants in the area are not aggressive. (03)

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One of the biggest elephant camps in Southeast Asia inaugurated



The inauguration of Elephants Lake camp, which will become one of the biggest elephant camps in Southeast Asia, was held west of milepost No. 83 on the Yangon-Mandalay Highway on 1 May, state media reported on 3 May.

This decade, the number of wild elephants has declined significantly. Of the 5,000 elephants owned by the Myanma Timber Enterprise and private enterprises, some were left idle after the Myanma Timber Enterprise suspended logging. Therefore, the Elephants Lake camp was opened to protect elephants from poaching and illegal trade to neighbouring countries, according to the report.

The authorities are planning to conserve some 300 elephants within 10 years. The Elephants Lake camp is being constructed on more than 17,000 hectares in Ye Nwe forest reserve.

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Vegan Actor Evanna Lynch Fights to Ban Elephant Rides Due to Animal Abuse

Vegan, activist and actor Evanna Lynch, best known for her portrayal of Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter film series, is urging the public to boycott elephant rides.

Lynch recently journeyed to India with news publication The Sun to raise awareness about the cruelty of the animal entertainment industry.

More than 850,000 people from the UK visit India every year. Many participate in the animal tourist attraction “without realising the true horror of captivity for these intelligent creatures when we pay to ride them or take a selfie,” the publication wrote.

Lynch admitted, “Just a few years ago I dreamed of going to India and riding an elephant. But then I couldn’t have imagined the abuse the elephants suffer.”

“Now I know, and I think everyone else needs to see this and know too.”

The publication described the conditions in which the large mammals are kept. Many are “desperately thirsty” and “standing in the fierce heat” with chains wrapped around their bodies. The animals are frequently “beaten, starved and caged,” according to The Sun. The beatings result in “gaping wounds” on the animals’ bodies, however, the trainers simply paint the wounds grey to cover the injuries from tourists.

Of the experience, Lynch said: “I have been so shocked. We saw one elephant chained up – it couldn’t move at all.”

“It had a stick resting on its head so if it moved the stick would fall. If it did the trainer would give it a beating.”

She continued, “I asked the man standing there how long the elephant might have been there, and he told me probably his whole life. That is unfathomable.”

The Sun explained that in India, elephants are “snatched from their mothers in the wild when they are babies.” The young animals are then “tortured into complete submission in a process called ‘pajan.’” The baby elephants are kept in cages so small the animal cannot move – “not even to turn around, not its head or sit down.”

The publication said, “Trainers then starve the animal and keep it awake for days on end.”

“Exhausted and on the brink of death, the elephants are then beaten with wooden weapons, specially designed to inflict as much pain as possible. This happens every day for at least six months, but can go on for years.” This occurs until their spirit is “so broken” that the animals finally let their trainers ride them, The Sun explained.

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Watch: Actress treks to Thailand to free an Asian elephant in new doc



Actress Ashley Bell's documentary, 'Love and Bananas: An Elephant Story,' follows her mission across Thailand to free an Asian elephant. It's now playing in limited release. (May 3)

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Elephants driven to extinction by illegal skin trade, says report



MYANMAR, LAOS AND CHINA MAIN SOURCES OF PRODUCTS USED IN TRADITIONAL MEDICINES AND SKINCARE CREAMS

MANY ELEPHANTS are being hunted for their skin across Asia and the problem is reaching a crisis point, said a report released yesterday by an international NGO that is dedicated to protecting the animals from extinction.

The report exposes the rise in poaching to supply a new kind of transnational wildlife crime, and those who are trading, promoting and profiting from elephant skin products, Belinda Stewart-Cox, the director of conservation for Elephant Family, said.

Chinese online platforms such as Baidu and WeChat have been used to trade elephant skin products, the report revealed.

“We are now seeing an increase in the illicit online advertising for sale of powdered elephant skin. The main source, at present, is Myanmar where officials have identified a poaching crisis that has intensified rapidly since 2010.

“Our research shows that urgent action is required to address this rising trend before it develops into yet another wildlife crisis,” Stewart-Cox said at the event held at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand

Elephant Family is the first organisation to investigate the illegal trade in elephant skin.

China, Laos and Myanmar provide elephant skin for products such as traditional medicines, skincare creams, beads for bracelets, necklaces and pendants.

“We began by monitoring live trade, but then discovered there was a marked increase in poaching in Myanmar. We were shown images of elephant carcasses found with strips of skin missing and, more recently, carcasses that had been entirely surgically skinned,” Stewart-Cox said.

She said the report – Titled “Skinned – The Growing Appetite for Asian Elephants” – was not intended to apportion blame but to turn the spotlight on the growing transnational crime.

“We wish to call for the collaboration of governments and civil society to tackle the issue before it threatens the survival of Asia’s elephants,” she said.

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Sunday, May 06, 2018

Hungry elephants killed foraging for food in South: NGO



PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN — The body of an elephant found in a pineapple field is the latest in a series of pachyderms killed after they wandered across national park boundaries to forage on farmland, an environmentalist said Thursday.
After a 10-year-old bull with 30-centimeter tusks was found dead in the Kui Buri National Park, the president of an elephant conservation group said at least six have been slain since 2011, with two killed this year alone.

“This will keep happening because there are still elephants in the forest, and the criminals have not been arrested. People and elephants are fighting over land to this very day,” said Laitongrian Meephan of the Phra Kachaban Foundation.

Wild elephants are a persistent nuisance to farmers, who deploy everything from electrified fences to defensive beehives to keep them off their land. From time to time, the animals are shot dead.

The elephant’s body was found last night in Boonlert Ngamdee’s pineapple field near in the Sam Roi Yot district of Prachuap Khiri Khan province. It had been dead for at least 48 hours. There were signs of a struggle as well as a 8-centimeter wound along his left thigh.

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Wild elephant found dead in Prachuap Khiri Khan


Tests are being done to determine what killed a wild elephant found dead on a Prachuap Khiri Khan pineapple plantation on Wednesday evening.



Officials suspect the animal, between five and 10 years old, succumbed to infection stemming from a fight with another bull elephant.

There was an infected wound on the left hip that appeared to be caused by a tusk.

Pol Capt Somchai Yoddamnonekul, deputy inspector in Sam Roi Yod district, and Kittipat Prempree, chief of Kui Buri National Park’s animal protection unit, led officials in examining the carcass.

Officials used a metal detector to ensure there were no bullets embedded in the body.

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China Shuts Down Ivory Trade, Wildlife Trafficking Continues



China deserves credit for shutting down the illegal trading in elephant ivory that has contributed in recent years to the killing of thousands of African pachyderms.

But much credit should also go to international nongovernment organizations that have championed the elephants’ cause and raised public awareness of it in China.

On Dec. 31, 2017, China, the world’s largest ivory market, banned all domestic ivory sales.

John Gruetzner, the managing director of Intercedent, a Toronto-based, Asian-focused investment advisory group, said that the Chinese government’s decision to halt the trade was partly “a response to global pressure, including pressure from the United States."

But, says Gruetzner, the decision also came as a result of Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive as well as pushback from African nations.

According to Gruetzner, Chinese government indifference in recent years had permitted the carving of elephant ivory that contributed to the killing of some 33,000 African elephants a year.

Driving the demand for ivory in China have been members of a growing Chinese middle class who in the past could never have afforded to purchase carved ivory decorations. This was a luxury that was reserved in past generations for a rich minority.

Peter Knights, the CEO of WildAid, a San Francisco-based group, described China’s ban on ivory as “the greatest single step toward reducing elephant poaching.”

The announcement of the ban led almost immediately to the closing of 172 ivory-carving factories and retail shops in China.

Poaching in Kenya also went down from 390 elephants killed in 2013 to 46 reported last year, according to the Kenya Wildlife Service.

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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Elephant starved by owner dies


An elephant died in Mondulkiri province’s Sen Monorom city yesterday after its owner did not feed him for nearly a month as punishment for rampaging through a village. Khun Diyon, director of a local elephant conservation organisation, said the elephant, named Beong Kok, lived with his owner in Sen Monorom city’s Putang village.

Mr Diyon said that last month, the elephant rampaged through the village, causing damage but no injuries or deaths. He added that the 35-year-old elephant was shot with a tranquillizer gun to end the rampage, after which its owner kept it at home without food as punishment. “Weakened by starvation, the elephant had no strength to rise and stand on its own despite making several attempts to rise up,” said Mr Diyon. “The elephant died late in the evening after he fainted in the morning, following many days of fainting.”

“Expert officials could not save him because this elephant had no power and no food to eat. We are sorry to lose the elephant,” he added.


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Mudwrestling with Baby Elephants in Chiang Mai





The sound of a thunderous trumpet rolled dangerously close. And then something moist and fuzzy struck me in the back of the legs, right at the bend of the knee. I crippled. Fortunately, her foot missed my face on the way down and, aside from the water I drank through my nose, I came out unscathed. After she barreled into the river herself, I laid there in the rocks ruminating on the fact that an 1,800-pound baby elephant had just head-butted me. And I'd survived. I like to think she was mudwrestling. We’d just taken a bath and she was on a high after I’d scrubbed muck on her belly. Plus, we had a good thing going, and all of the elephants at Into the Wild Elephant Camp were playful that morning in the lush Thai jungles in the north of Chiang Mai. I was there with just a handful of other travelers, in the middle of acre upon acre of open fields and dense vegetation.

 
Thailand is a bustling backpacking mecca of Southeast Asia, attracting almost 33 million travelers in 2016 alone. And though the world-renowned islands summon many a gap year student and honeymooning couple alike, the north is quite the cultural experience. Chiang Mai, in particular, is a charming corner of the country, and a stopover for many a-digital nomad. An echo of peace permeates the city, emanating from the many ornate Buddhist temples lying within the old city walls. Food stalls saturate the air with smoke, selling chicken skewers and sausage and Pad Thai and seared pla pao, erupting with smells that could alone sate one’s appetite. And the city is surrounded by green mountains as far as the eye could see—and as high, given its claim to Thailand's tallest mountain, Doi Inthanon.

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

A better way forward for elephant tourism in Thailand


Nothing completes a trip to Thailand like an elephant ride—not. Proven harmful to elephant health, such wildlife attractions are waning in popularity. Fortunately, there are kinder ways to interact with animals while on holiday.

Since Southeast Asia has risen in popularity as a tourist destination in the last decades, the tourism industry has been growing rapidly as well. Along the growth of the tourism, there are also environmental concerns and worries that the local culture might be swept away by the mass tourism.

While this is partly true, there is also a new consciousness and movement that promotes a sustainable way of exploring a country and a lot of progress has already been made to establish a more eco-friendly tourism industry.

Whereas tourists have often visited elephant riding farms in the past, there is now a new market for a more animal-friendly tourism industry.

In Chiang Mai, Thailand, a new model of tourism is emerging that is proving that it is possible to provide an engaging animal interaction experience for tourists in a way that is ethical, cruelty-free and economically sustainable.

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Wellknown one-tusk elephant killed, believed electrocuted, in pineapple plantationv



A 30-year old bull elephant wellknown among villagers in Tambon Pluang Thong of Chon Buri’s Bo Thong district for its single ivory tusk and shortened tail was killed, believed electrocuted, at a pineapple plantation in Village Two of Tambon Pluang Thong on Sunday(Apr 15).

Officials of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation based in Si Racha district were alerted of the jumbo’death by villagers in Tam,bon Pluang Thong and a team was immediately sent to the scene to investigate.

Mr Yu Senatham, head of the Si Racha office, said officials had collected samples of vital organs of the dead elephant to be sent to the department’s laboratory for examination to determine the cause of its death.

But he said he suspected the elephant was electrocuted and a complaint would be lodged with Bo Thong police to look for the perpetrator.

A one-minute clip posted in the social media by officials of Ang Runai wildlife sanctuary after Sunday’s tragedy shows the animal of being friendly and good- tempered and a familiar figure in Chon Buri and Rayong.

Meanwhile, an informed police source said that the elephant’s trunk was badly burned, suggesting that it was electrocuted. He said that the elephant was found dead about 100 metres from the burial site of another jumbo which was electrocuted on March 25.

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Thai police hunt 'elephant electrocutioner

BANGKOK: Thai police are looking for a pineapple farm worker suspected of setting up an electric fence that has killed two wild elephants in the past month, authorities said Tuesday (Apr 17).

Cops are searching for the man after the second elephant was found dead over the weekend, lying on its side outside a pineapple farm in Chonburi province that edges up against a national park.

The four-tonne animal lay around 100 metres away from where a female elephant fell dead last month.

A plantation worker, Samin Jansamut, was charged after the first elephant death with poaching but had since been released on bail, police said.

"The suspect used live wire to make a fence and then connected it to electricity ... at night," said Phadet Laithong, a regional park official.

"There were signs of burning on (the second elephant's) trunk and his side, so it's likely that he was electrocuted," he added.

Police are now looking for him again following the second elephant death.

Conservationists estimate Thailand is home to more than 3,000 wild elephants.

But deforestation and habitat loss in recent decades have brought herds in closer contact with villages, igniting conflicts - and sometimes human deaths - when the animals trample on plantations or steal farmers' produce.

Soraida Salwala, the founder of the NGO 'Friends of the Asian Elephant', said she was "devastated" by the Chonburi elephant's apparent electrocution.

"Electrocution should not be carried out against any animals," she told AFP.

"I have called for an emergency fund to compensate to farmers in case their produce is eaten by elephants," she added.

Thailand also hosts Asia's biggest elephant tourism industry, with some 2,000 pachyderms employed to take tourists on rides or perform in circuses.

Animal rights groups have long criticised the lucrative industry as inhumane, with many elephants relegated to lives on the end of a chain.

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Slippery Songkran: Thailand launches road safety campaign for ‘seven deadly days’

THE seven days before, during and after Thai new year are the deadliest of the year, seeing accident rates soar due to drunk driving and water hazards. This year, authorities are hoping their road safety campaign will curb some of the damage.
The graphic adverts shows revellers throwing water by the side of a road as they celebrate Songkran. The camera then pans to a horrific road accident and the group are seen trying to douse flames engulfing the vehicles.
SEE ALSO: With 15 daily deaths, Thailand world’s deadliest country for motorcyclists

This is one of several public service announcements being aired ahead of the new year holiday, when Thailand sees a spike in road deaths as many people exit cities bound for their homes in the countryside.
The so-called “Seven Deadly Days” began on Wednesday this year and will end on Tuesday.
The holiday is often referred to as the world’s biggest water fight, with revellers throwing water at passing cars and motorbikes that sometimes swerve to avoid getting doused.
Thailand’s roads rank among the world’s deadliest, according to the World Health Organization, and there has been little improvement despite safety campaigns over the years.
On Tuesday, six migrant workers from Burma were killed when their double-decker bus crashed into a ditch near the border town of Mae Sot, the second fatal accident in as many weeks involving migrants.
SEE ALSO: How can Thailand curb its appalling road fatality rate?
Thailand’s transport ministry said it aimed to reduce the number of road accidents by 7 percent during this Songkran festival but emergency responders doubt the latest safety campaign will have much impact.
“These campaigns are quite isolated and mostly for show only,” said Marko Cunningham from the Bangkok Free Ambulance Service, a volunteer ambulance organization.
“Thai people know the laws and yet continue to break them,” he said. “I have always said the main problem lies with enforcement.

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Elephant conservationist Daphne Sheldrick dies aged 83



Dame Daphne Sheldrick, a conservationist famous for her work rearing baby elephants in Kenya and fighting for the protection of the species, has died aged 83, her family said Friday.


"Daphne passed away the evening of the 12th April after a long battle with breast cancer, a battle she finally lost," her daughter Angela wrote in a statement.


"Her legacy is immeasurable and her passing will reverberate far and wide because the difference she has made for conservation in Kenya is unparalleled."

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Sunday, April 08, 2018

Thailand’s Interior Ministry Launches Probe into Chiang Rai’s Controversial Giant Elephant Statue Project



CHIANG RAI – Thailand’s Interior Ministry has launched a probe into a project conceived by Chiang Rai’s Municipality to build an iconic giant elephant statue on an islet in the middle of the Kok River.

The controversy centers on a large tract of land forming the islet. The land is close to the Mae Fa Luang bridge in Muang district.

Opponents of the project insisted it may be illegal to use the strip of land in the river to construct a statue of the elephant rode by King Mengrai, who founded Chiang Rai centuries ago.

Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osotthanakon has reportedly put the brakes on the project pending a check on the status of the islet, although local administrative officials had met and green-lit the project, on which work has started.

A fact-finding panel, led by deputy permanent secretary for interior Suphachai Iamsuwan, has over the past week questioned state agencies, including Chiang Rai Municipality which initiated the project, and the Treasury Department which owns the land covering more than 24 rai.

Initial findings from the team have not been revealed.

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