Sunday, June 18, 2017

Baby elephant trapped in deep hole rescued

A baby elephant trapped in a deep muddy hole inside Khao Soi Dao wildlife sanctuary in Chanthaburi is given water after being rescued from the hole on Thursday.

CHANTHABURI ­ A baby elephant trapped in a deep, muddy hole was rescued after a forestry patrol team heard the jumbo crying loudly at Khao Soi Dao wildlife sanctuary in Khao Khitchakut district's tambon Khlong Plu on Thursday.

The animal tried in vain to get free of the hole, but failed. The rescue team, using a gunnysack and a rope, took 50 minutes to pull it out.

The jumbo, weighing about 100kg and aged around one month, looked exhausted. The officials checked the animal’s health condition, gave it water and later let it walk toward its mother, anxiously waiting nearby.

During the rescue operation, the panicked mother was heard trumpeting not far away. The mother calmed down after the baby got free of the hole, officials said.

Vet Pattrapol Manee­on, of the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, said the hole was about 2m wide and 5m deep, according to Matichon Online.

The incident prompted department chief Thanya Nethithammakul to issue an urgent order asking all national parks and wildlife sanctuaries to survey areas prone to mudslides and flooding to prevent possible danger to tourists and wild animals.

There were reports that the hole had been dug by irrigation officials during a survey for the construction.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wild elephant kills domesticated elephant

SURAT THANI – A domesticated male elephant was found dead on Wednesday morning in a rubber plantation close to Tai Rom Yen National Park, apparently fatally gored by a wild bull elephant.

The 27 ­year ­old elephant had been taken there by his owner on Tuesday to haul rubber tree logs at the plantation on Plai Hon hill in tambon Ban Song of Wiang Sa district.

At the end of the day, he was chained to a tree for the night. On Wednesday morning the owner arrived back there and found the elephant was dead, with wounds that indicated he had been gored by an elephant's tusks.

Praphansak Chaipho, chief of Tai Rom Yen National Park, and police examined the body.
He said there were four or five wild elephants ranging the area for food on Tuesday night and it was likely they had attacked the chained elephant.

The national park covers three districts ­ Wiang Sa, Kanchanadit and Ban Na San. There are an estimated 60­70 wild elephants in the park. Two years ago, a 3­year­old wild elephant was killed in a fight with a large male.

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Baby elephant trapped in deep hole rescued

A baby elephant trapped in a deep muddy hole inside Khao Soi Dao wildlife sanctuary in Chanthaburi is given water after being rescued from the hole on Thursday. (National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conversation Department photo)

CHANTHABURI - A baby elephant trapped in a deep, muddy hole was rescued after a forestry patrol team heard the jumbo crying loudly at Khao Soi Dao wildlife sanctuary in Khao Khitchakut district's tambon Khlong Plu on Thursday.

The animal tried in vain to get free of the hole, but failed. The rescue team, using a gunnysack and a rope, took 50 minutes to pull it out.

The jumbo, weighing about 100kg and aged around one month, looked exhausted. The officials checked the animal’s health condition, gave it water and later let it walk toward its mother, anxiously waiting nearby.

During the rescue operation, the panicked mother was heard trumpeting not far away. The mother calmed down after the baby got free of the hole, officials said.

Vet Pattrapol Manee-on, of the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, said the hole was about 2m wide and 5m deep, according to Matichon Online.

The incident prompted department chief Thanya Nethithammakul to issue an urgent order asking all national parks and wildlife sanctuaries to survey areas prone to mudslides and flooding to prevent possible danger to tourists and wild animals.

There were reports that the hole had been dug by irrigation officials during a survey for the construction of a reservoir.

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Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Four injured when van hit elephant

Rescue workers help the injured out of the van after it hit a wild elephant in Non Dindaeng district, Buri Ram, early Saturday morning.

BURI RAM ­ Four people were injured when their van hit a wild elephant on a highway in Non Dindaeng district early Saturday morning.

Police found the passengers trapped in the rented Toyota van on Highway 348 (Buri Ram­Ta Phraya) in tambon Lam Nang Rong at about 5am. Rescue workers helped them out of the vehicle and sent them to Non Dindaeng Hospital. They were safe.

They were identified as driver Phumchai Srisawat, 47, Miss Marisa Patipat, 54, Mrs Mayuree Traipho, 52, and Mrs Pawicha Boonjan, 54. All are natives of Chanthaburi's Muang district.

One of the passengers said that they had hired the van driver from Chanthaburi for a merit­making trip in Mukdahan province. While the van was on the highway in the early hours of Saturday, a wild elephant suddenly emerged to cross the road at a close range. Local forestry officials were looking for an injured elephant to arrange for treatment.

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Saturday, June 03, 2017

Celebrities are flocking to a new elephant sanctuary in Thailand

For animal lovers, finding travel experiences that provide ethical ways of interacting with animals poses a problem. Many of the activities that were once thought to be harmless fun can actually be harmful to the animals.

A new elephant sanctuary in Thailand might offer a solution.

Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is a 30-acre park and the first shelter of its kind in the city that gives elephants that have worked in entertainment or other forms of labor the chance to retire. They can roam the grounds freely during the day and rest in large shelters at night, The Independent reported.

Several celebrities, including the band Coldplay and Aaron Paul of “Breaking Bad,” have made visits to the park, drawn in by its ethical practices.

British philanthropist and fashion executive, Louise Rogerson, started the sanctuary in 2015 after volunteering for several years with elephant projects in Thailand, according to the sanctuary’s website.

The first animals – including a 60-year-old female originally from a logging camp – arrived in August 2016, a according to The Phuket News. The sanctuary opened to visitors later that year.

To read the full article, click on the story title

Wild elephant flees injured after being struck by van

RAYONG: -- A wild elephant struck by a van transporting junior students along a Rayong road Friday morning might have been severely injured. It’s being tracked in Khao Wong National Park.

Police said the accident occurred at 6am on Kong Din Road in Klaeng district’s Tambon Kong Din.

Driver Witthaya Suwannarat, 25, was taking the students to Triam Suksa Na Yai Arm School in Chanthaburi, where he’s also a teacher.

He told police heavy rainfall obscured his view and he saw two elephants crossing the road too late to stop. He struck one of them in the hindquarters, briefly knocking it to its knees, but the animal rose again and fled into the adjacent national park.

Park chief Sophon Boonma said he would dispatch officials to track the elephant and attend to any injury.

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Brothers claim proof that Phuket camp has their stolen elephant

SURIN: -- After 14 years, two brothers who previously owned a female elephant named “Phang Yo” claim to have evidence of alleged elephant identity forgery and hope they can finally retrieve the animal from a Phuket-based elephant camp.

Phang Yo went missing in January 2003 when mahout Somsak Riang-ngern brought it to work at a Krabi-based elephant camp and tied it under a tree in a wooded area near the camp at night. The animal was gone in the morning.

Somsak and his elder brother Wan Riang-ngern earlier this year received a picture of an elephant with another name that was at the Phuket camp, which they recognized as Phang Yo, leading to their attempts to retrieve the animal. The elephant is believed to be about 50 years old.

The two brothers asked Tak officials for help to uncover evidence in Mae Ramad district suggesting the elephant, bearing the microchip number “121675455 A” and with an identity card describing scars on both hind legs, was indeed Phang Yo.

Wan also said the animal recognised him and his brother when they went to see it.

The brothers said the Phuket camp owner had turned down their previous request for the elephant to be returned, adding that unless the owner acquiesced in the face of the new evidence, they would file a police complaint for theft, receiving stolen assets and document forgery.

Thai-language media has previously reported that the Phuket camp owner had resisted returning the animal because it had been bought for Bt1.4 million.

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Friday, June 02, 2017

Experts call for legal approach to protection of elephants

The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) held a seminar to seek a more comprehensive legal approach to protect Thailand’s elephants on Tuesday.

Wallop Tangkananurak, chairman of the NLA committee tasked with following up on animal protection mechanisms, said the seminar was the first move in a planned wider-scale cooperation to achieve success in the protection of pachyderms.

At the seminar, NLA members, experts from the National Institute of Elephant Research and Health Service, the Wildlife Conservation Officer at the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums were invited to express their opinions and concerns on the elephant draft bill.

All speakers agreed that the priorities were the problem of street elephants and the threat from wild elephant to humans.

They urged the introduction of new laws to protect elephant-related businesses and mahouts, an overhaul of existing laws in order to comply with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, as well as the integration of relevant laws into a new elephant law that would ensure pachyderms continued to be known as Thailand’s national animal.

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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Baby elephant born at Pattaya’s Suan Nongnuch

After park staff had patiently waited and monitored 17-year-old pregnant elephant Pang Ploy for nearly a month, she finally gave birth to the park's 76th elephant at 6.30am. The happy event was recorded on video and a clip posted on Thai social media.

Plai Nammon –the fourth elephant born at the park in 40 years, was welcomed with a traditional blessing ritual performed by Wat Samakkheebanphot abbot Phra Khru Kasemkittisopon. The name Nammon means holy water.

Pang Ploy had mated with 35-year-old Plai Bird since July 6, 2015, and began to show signs of advanced pregnancy earlier this month.

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Woman killed by wild elephants in Chachoengsao

CHACHOENGSAO: -- A woman was kicked and killed by wild elephants while she was tapping rubber trees in a plantation in Chachoengsao province on Tuesday, police said.

Rescuers managed to retrieve the body of Lamai Ngernprasert, 43, at 8pm after they sought help from troops to scare some 20 wild elephants away.

Police said the attack happened at 5pm inside the NY Rubber Company plantation in Moo 21 village in Tambon Tha Kradan of Chachoengsao’s Sanam Chaikhet district.

Lamai was a worker at the plantation.

Co-workers told police that they heard Lamai crying out for help and saw her surrounded by the elephants.

The authorities said the elephants came from the Khao Ang Rua Wildlife Sanctuary about five kilometres away.

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Phuket elephant camp accused of refusing to return stolen elephant

An elephant camp in Phuket stands accused of refusing to return a female elephant that the Phuket Provincial Livestock Office (PPLO) confirmed on Friday belongs to another person.

Livestock officers checked the microchip on an elephant at the Amazing Bukit Elephant Camp on Chao Fa 69 Road in Chalong and confirmed that the animal is registered as “Yo” from Surin Province, and not called “Nampetch” as claimed by the elephant camp.

The officers confirmed that the microchip matches the registration documents for “Yo,”
who was stolen while working in Krabi province in 2003.

Surajit Witchuwan of the PPLO said, “We checked the microchip in the elephant and found it is for the elephant called “Yo.”

“In addition, a description of marks on Yo’s legs are the same as on this elephant at the Amazing Bukit Elephant Camp.

“Our part of the job is now done, it is now down to the police to resolve this matter,” he said.

However, the owner of the elephant camp has refused to return the elephant to its rightful owner, Chorp Reangngern, 58, whose relatives have now taken the matter to the Ombudsman’s office at Phuket Provincial Hall.

To read the full article, click on the story title

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Tourists Warned Of Aggressive Elephants At Khao Yai National Park

Security has been increased for tourists at Khao Yai National Park to safeguard them from wild elephants, as several aggressive male bulls are in heat for mating.

Park official Somchat Saeli, said on Friday that Plai Junior, a 20-30 year old male elephant that is in heat has roamed out of forest for three days now, and has been seen wandering around Thung Pong Kwang meadow near Sai Sorn reservorr in Nakhon Ratchasima’s Pak Chong district.

Park officials have been patrolling the road that cuts through the park in Prachin Buri and Nakhon Ratchasima to look for wild elephants and advise tourists on how to observe the wildlife safely.

Somchat said park officials have put up warning signs in Thai and English to advise tourists what to do if they encounter a wild elephant while driving. They should stop their car at least 300 metres away from the elephant and, if the animal moves towards them, they should slowly reverse the vehicle and pull over at a safe distance until the elephant goes away.

He said visitors must not use flash photography to take pictures, must not use the car horn or make any loud noises to spook the animal and they must keep the car engine running at all times.

If visitors encounter an elephant after dark, the driver must use low headlights, he said. If they find themselves surrounded by elephants, they must remain calm and try to find a route with fewer animals blocking their path and leave as fast as possible.

“You can observe the elephant’s mood easily. If it is in a good mood, it will shake its ears and its tail. If it is in a bad mood, its ears will not shake, its tail will point upward and its trunk will look stiff and still,” he said.

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UN woman killed by elephant after herd charges noisy bike

A woman refugee worker died after being kicked by an elephant while on her way home to celebrate Songkran on Friday.

Wansa Khiriarchadai, 26, an employee of the UNHCR shelter in Thasong Yang district in Tak, was attacked by the tusker while she rode on a motorcycle driven by her husband on the way to Mae Sot.

The husband, Boontham Chokthammakan, 31, told police that as they travelled along a road through Khun Khao Pawor National Park in Mae Ramat district, they encountered a herd of six elephants.

The elephants, startled by the sound of the motorcycle, then charged them. Boontham said he stopped and ran, but his wife, who ran in another direction, fell and was kicked by an elephant.

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Monday, May 01, 2017

New twist in Phuket elephant ownership battle

PHUKET: The battle for ownership rights of a female elephant at a Phuket safari camp has taken another twist with the camp now presenting to police a registration document for the same elephant, but with a different name.

The new registration document, presented by Amazing Bukit Safari Camp in Chalong to Ao Nang Police Deputy Chief Lt Col Winai Poonsawat yesterday (April 3) now names the elephant as “Srinuan”.

When initially defending its claim to the elephant, the camp’s owner presented registration documents showing the elephant’s name was “Nampetch”.

In short, the camp has now presented two sets of registration documents for the same elephant, with the same registration information, including the same microchip number – but for elephants with different names.

While the new registration document presented for “Srinuan” features all the same registration information as the documents initially presented for “Nampetch”, the camp has so far not offered any explanation for – or documentary evidence recognising – the name change.

However, the camp still maintains it bought the elephant for B1.4 million in February from Raewat Chernkaew, 54, from Trang province.

To read the full article, click on the story title

Khao Yai takes action against visitors who taunt elephant Please credit and share this article with others using this link:http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/1226931/khao-yai-takes-action-against-visitors-who-taunt-elephant

Wild elephants are frequently seen on the roads leading to Khao Yai National Park. Khao Yai National Park has filed a police complaint against a car owner seen on video taunting a wild elephant into chasing his vehicle.

Park chief Kanchit Srinoppawan said on Tuesday that authorities had examined a video clip posted on the @togetherisone Facebook account on Monday and concluded that the Camry sedan driver in the footage had intentionally challenged an elephant walking on a park road to chase his car, just for fun.

A wild elephant approached the car, which stops to take a video in Khao Yai National Park. (Photo from @togetherisone Facebook account) "It can't run faster than my Camry," the driver says and laughs in the two ­minute video, as a woman in the car films an elephant coming towards them. "It never catches up with me," the driver said. "It's fun, it's fun."

The clip also shows the car stopping twice waiting for the elephant to come closer. It is not clear when it happened, The clip drew negative comments from viewers. Mr Kanchit said the park filed a complaint against the driver, based on the clip, at Moo Si Police Station in Pak Chong district of Nakhon Ratchasima on Tuesday.

To read the full article, click on the story title




Elephants on the Road in Thailand National Park

Elephants are portrayed as sweet and lovely, and maybe a bit clumsy. Perhaps this image is the result of the stories for children – like the “The Jungle Book” or “Dumbo”, where elephants where shown as friendly. The elephants in the zoo or circus are domesticated by trainers and zookeepers, and are quite peaceful. But make no mistake – an agitated elephant can be the most dangerous animal in the world.

Every year elephants are responsible for around 500 deaths. Many of the deaths caused by elephants are attributed to younger male elephants who are wild and more aggressive. As Caitlin O’Connell-Rodwell, a biologist at Stanford University said, “I do think that elephants are becoming more aggressive towards humans in very compressed areas where they are being shot at and harassed.”

Having a driving route through a park where elephants live is probably one of the factors that makes these creatures feel harassed. Also, during the mating season the male elephants may be stressed due to fighting and competition. That is why from time to time in the Khao Yai National Park in Thailand we can witness elephants attacking cars.

In such moment the best is to maintain a distance of at least 30 meters from the elephant, don’t honk the horn or make any noise and always keep the car engine on so as to turn back in time if the elephant walks closer. Easier said than done though… We can see what happens when such frightening encounter happens.

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Stick test 'shows elephants have rare level of self-understanding' and body awareness

ELEPHANTS have provided further evidence of their intelligence and self-awareness in an experiment involving a stick tied to a mat.

Researchers required Asian elephants to walk on to a mat, pick up a stick and pass it to an experimenter in exchange for a food reward.

In control conditions the sticks were loose, but for the experiment the sticks were tied to the mat - meaning the elephant's body weight prevented them passing the stick to the researcher unless they walked off the mat.

The University of Cambridge study found that elephants stepped off the mat on average 42 out of 48 times during the experiment, compared with three out of 48 during the control.

Researchers said this shows elephants are able to recognise their bodies as obstacles to success in problem-solving.

To read the full article, click on the story title

Sunday, April 30, 2017

University student teaches English and cares for abused elephants in Thailand

In August 2016, Olivia Soan travelled to Northern Thailand to undertake a two-week volunteer placement. She was supported by a £220 Individual Grant for Volunteering from the Jack Petchey Foundation, which helped to cover the individual costs of her volunteer work. She raised the rest of the £3000 herself, with 50% of the money going to the Future Sense Foundation, who she volunteered with.

The first week of her volunteer work took her to northern Thailand, in a hill tribe village school called Hak Mai Tai. Olivia and her team spent each morning renovating two of the big classrooms for the children in the upper school, which gave the students a welcoming learning space that they could feel proud of. In the afternoons, she taught English to two classes of children aged 7-8 and 9-10. Olivia recalled how enthusiastic and happy the children were to learn and how heart-warming the positivity of everyone in the village was. She said “I think the teaching, along with having a happy and colourful learning environment, encourages the children to go to school and build on their dreams for when they finish school.”

The second week of the trip was spent at an Elephant Nature Park. The 69 elephants currently being cared for there had been rescued from trades such as street begging, the circus, logging and riding, which had left many of the elephants there orphaned, blinded or disabled. Olivia helped with the general running of the sanctuary; cleaning the elephant’s paddocks, feeding them and bathing them. Olivia said that although it was hard work, “each day here was inspiring” and that “being nuzzled by the trunk of an inquisitor whilst you are [working] makes it all worthwhile.”

The work that Olivia carried out at the elephant nature park was vital, as the volunteer programme is what keeps the rehabilitation centre running through thanks to their funding and volunteer work.

Olivia said of her volunteer placement; “This project was an absolutely incredible experience. One of the biggest things that I learnt from this trip was to not take anything for granted, and appreciate everything I’ve got because there are many people in the world who are less fortunate than I am, but still with a great smile on their faces.”

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Tourists Warned Of Aggressive Elephants At Khao Yai National Park

Security has been increased for tourists at Khao Yai National Park to safeguard them from wild elephants, as several aggressive male bulls are in heat for mating.

Park official Somchat Saeli, said on Friday that Plai Junior, a 20-30 year old male elephant that is in heat has roamed out of forest for three days now, and has been seen wandering around Thung Pong Kwang meadow near Sai Sorn reservorr in Nakhon Ratchasima’s Pak Chong district.

Park officials have been patrolling the road that cuts through the park in Prachin Buri and Nakhon Ratchasima to look for wild elephants and advise tourists on how to observe the wildlife safely.

Somchat said park officials have put up warning signs in Thai and English to advise tourists what to do if they encounter a wild elephant while driving. They should stop their car at least 300 metres away from the elephant and, if the animal moves towards them, they should slowly reverse the vehicle and pull over at a safe distance until the elephant goes away.

He said visitors must not use flash photography to take pictures, must not use the car horn or make any loud noises to spook the animal and they must keep the car engine running at all times.

If visitors encounter an elephant after dark, the driver must use low headlights, he said. If they find themselves surrounded by elephants, they must remain calm and try to find a route with fewer animals blocking their path and leave as fast as possible.

“You can observe the elephant’s mood easily. If it is in a good mood, it will shake its ears and its tail. If it is in a bad mood, its ears will not shake, its tail will point upward and its trunk will look stiff and still,” he said.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Elephants soak passers-by ahead of boisterous Thai holiday

AYUTTHAYA, Thailand — Trained elephants sprayed motorists and passers-by with water in Thailand's old capital city of Ayutthaya on Tuesday to welcome in the Buddhist New Year, known as "Songkran."

The jumbos from an elephant camp in the old capital Ayutthaya were brought out to rake passing traffic, soak passengers in open vehicles and spray anyone foolish or brave enough to venture within range.

The holiday, the longest in the Thai calendar, starts later this week and runs officially for three days. Cities empty out as workers head home to see family and celebrate by cleansing images of the Buddha, washing the hands and feet of elders, and throwing water on each other in what is sometimes called the world's biggest water-fight.

The festival -- which is also celebrated in neighbouring Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos -- falls at the hottest time of the year, when temperatures often creep above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).

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Sunday, April 09, 2017

Elephant foundation in critical need of aid

The Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE) says it may have to close if it does not receive financial support soon.

Secretary ­general Soraida Salwala said the FAE is a Thai ­registered foundation that has looked after the welfare of more than 4,600 elephants in Thailand for more than two decades. It is now facing its worst financial crunch in its history.

It is best known for producing an artificial leg for the wounded elephant Motala (above) in 2006, but it has helped countless elephants before and since.

"We need financial support from both the government and the private sector to survive," said Ms Soraida, who is also the founder.

She said the foundation, set up in 1993, has encountered financial problems for more than 11 years due to falling donations.

However, she said she has put in considerable effort to maintain a normal situation until she realised she had to reveal the truth about the foundation's financial difficulties to the public.

"We don't want to create any burden as people are suffering during the economic slowdown.
"But we need help, or we will have to close.''

Ms Soraida said she had earlier asked the government for assistance in setting up an elephant fund to support any foundation that is working with and helping elephants. Up until now, she has not yet heard any response, she added.

To read the full article, click on the story title


Friday, April 07, 2017

Food Gatherer Stomped To Death By Elephants

CHACHOENGSAO -- A villager was trampled to death by wild elephants while collecting wild produce with a friend in dense forest near the Khao Ang Ruenai Wildlife Sanctuary in Sanam Chaikhet district on Monday afternoon, police said.

The incident occurred about 4.30pm, according to police.

While they were foraging in the forest a herd of wild elephants suddenly appeared and charged at them. They fled for their lives, but only one of them emerged alive from the forest. The survivor reported to the village headman that his friend was missing.

A search party comprising police, wildlife sanctuary officials and about 30 rescue volunteers walked 2-3 kilometres into the forest from Ban Nayao in tambon Tha Kradan.

After searching for more than an hour near the Khao Ang Ruenai Wildlife Sanctuary they found Chalee Sophakul, 45. He had been stomped to death by the elephants.

Chalee's body was taken out of the forest to Ban Nayao about 9pm.

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Farm-raiding wild elephants moved to national park

One of the tranquilised wild elephants is prodded and pulled toward a large truck, which then carried him to Bang Lang National Park in Betong district of Yala, where he was released, in Narathiwat province on Monday.

NARATHIWAT -- Two wild elephants that have been raiding village crops for 5 months were finally moved to a national park in an 11 hour operation overnight involving 500 people.

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Phuket elephants DNA tested to curtail trafficking

Officials from the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department (DNP) took DNA samples from 67 elephants yesterday, including those that perform at the Phuket FantaSea attraction in Kamala, as part of a drive to crackdown on elephants trafficked onto the island.

There are currently 222 elephants registered at 23 camps in Phuket, said Supot Praedpring, Director of the DNP regional office in Nakhon Sri Thammarat.

“Today we checked four elephant camps with 32 elephants all used by Phuket FantaSea as well as 20 elephants at Pang Chang Hai elephant camp, 13 elephants at Kalim elephant camp, and two elephants at Tritrang elephant camp,” Supot said.

The DNA tests are part of a five-day campaign that began yesterday  to confirm the identities of all registered elephants on the island, including those used at tourist attractions and jungle-trekking tours, he explained.

The DNP teams, assisted Department of Livestock and Department of Provincial Administration officials, are checking identification certificates and microchip implants.

To read the full article, click on the story title

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Thai your hand as an elephant rescuer... The rise of 'responsible' travel experiences - with no riding allowed

In the wake of the death last October of the Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the year of mourning has clipped the wings of Thailand’s beach party lovers, and the backpacker crowd are heading elsewhere.

Maybe Thailand should use this as a chance to promote some of its lesser-known attractions.

A glance at Trip Advisor finds the Lanta Animal Welfare Centre at number three in the top ten list of things to do - ahead of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Sukhothai Historical Park.

Here visitors get to interact with animals. However, they are not exotic animals - but cats and dogs.

Lanta rescues abandoned animals from all over Thailand and, to help pay for their rehabilitation, welcomes visitors who are given tours by volunteers.

Taking a dog for a run on the beach or cuddling up with cats (the centre has more than 50 cats and kittens) can make a holiday.

Visitors are also invited to help with daily tasks from grooming the animals to gardening.

To read the full article, click on the story title

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Thai Elephant Day Celebrated on March 13

March 13 saw the celebration of the Thai Elephant Day, started 18 years ago to help spread awareness and promote preservation of the Asian elephant in Thailand.

Maesa elephant camp, among others held events and celebrated the Thai Elephant Day. Vice Governor of Chiang Mai, Prachuap Kanthiya, also hosted the event.

A Lanna ceremony, with elephant drawing and hill tribe displays were also found, along with a special exhibition about elephants in Chiang Mai Zoo.

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Elephant protest in Bangkok cancelled

100 elephants in Bangkok on Monday to protest against an elephant identity investigation by wildlife protection authorities, saying they do not want to disrupt traffic. Laithongrien Meepan, owner of the of the Ayutthaya Elephant Palace, said he and other elephant keepers in other provinces would not rally at Government House on Monday, which is also National Elephant Day.

Government authorities earlier asked them not to rally in Bangkok as it would cause traffic chaos, he said on Saturday. However, the keepers are continuing to call for an investigation of Chaiwat Limlikhit-aksorn, who is leading a team from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation to check the identities of pet elephants nationwide. Mr Laithongrien says the investigation amounts to an abuse of authority. Representatives of kraal owners have sent their complaints to the prime minister via the Interior Ministry and the Prime Minister's Office, he said.

Mr Laithongrien began mobilising opposition to the screening after three of his elephants were impounded on suspicion of false identification. The team headed by Chaiwat was preparing a case for legal action. It seized the three elephants -- aged 5, 9 and 27 years -- because checks of DNA samples taken last year did not match those taken two years previously.

Mr Laithongrien insisted the three elephants had been born in captivity and had not been taken in the wild. He accused the department of conducting substandard DNA testing after the lab determined the
the DNA from the animals did not match ID cards issued by the Interior Ministry.

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Polo Tourney Raises More Cash to Help Thailand Elephants

The thundering sound of running pachyderms has been reverberating around Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort over the weekend signalling Thailand’s annual jumbo corporate social responsibility (CSR) event of the year,  the Anantara Resorts/ King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament.

Held for the 15th year, the annual King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament raises money to provide aid and assistance for wild and captive Thailand elephants, with more than US$1.3 million having been raised to date.

The opening on Friday, March 10, delivered a spectacle of seasoned elephant polo players including last year’s champions representing the event sponsor, King Power (Nattapong Pratumlee, Satid Wongkraso and Tom Claytor), the PWC All Blacks featuring international rugby players Olo Brown, Stu Wilson, and Charlie Richelman, and Casiliero Del Diablo, represented by Argentina’s finest polo players Agustin Kronhaus, Manuel Albizu, and Franck Constant.

Following a traditional Thai parade featuring the last of Thailand’s elephant spirit men (Kru Ba Yai), chanting Buddhist monks waving bundles of smouldering incense, and the prerequisite blessings and prayers, the event the elephants had been waiting for got underway… a free-flow fruit, grass, and vegetable buffet where there were no expectation of table manners.

To read the full article, click on the story title

As wild elephant numbers increase, authorities warn of conflicts with farmers

MORE EFFORTS are being taken to encourage a harmonious relationship between wild elephants and people living in forest areas, as wild elephant numbers have increased by up to 10 per cent and threaten to intensify conflicts with farmers.

On Thai Elephant Day yesterday, National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department (DNP) deputy director-general Adisorn Noochdumrong said the number of wild elephants in Thailand was rising at a rate of between 7 and 10 per cent.

Adisorn said areas that had seen a steep increase in the wild elephant population were the western forest in the Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary and eastern forest in the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai forest complex. In the eastern forest, the number of wild |elephants has been rising by up to 10 per cent.

“This is the outstanding outcome of our efforts to protect the |forest ecosystem and preserve the wild elephants, since we have worked on reintroducing wild elephants into the forest and building food sources for elephants,” Adisorn said.

However, the increased number of wild elephants means more competition over limited food sources in the forest and could mean wild elephants will invade farmland near the forest looking for food and coming into conflict with farmers.

Adisorn said that to address the problem, the department was taking measures to create more food sources for elephants and also working with local people to protect the elephants.

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Thailand Seizes Rhino Horns Worth $5 Million In Biggest Haul For Years

BANGKOK:  Thai customs have confiscated 21 rhino horns with an estimated value of nearly $5 million in the biggest such seizure in Thailand for years, officials said on Tuesday.

Thailand has become a major transit point for the trade in endangered species to other Asian countries.

The seizure of the nearly 50 kg (110 lb) of rhino horn came days after 300 kg of elephant ivory was impounded and a month after the discovery of almost 3 tonnes of pangolin scales destined for Laos.

"It's the biggest confiscation of rhino horns in 5 to 10 years," said Somkiat Soontornpitakkool, director of Thailand's Wild Fauna and Flora Protection division.

The rhino horns were found in luggage sent from Ethiopia to Thailand. Two Thai women who travelled from Vietnam and Cambodia to pick up the luggage ran off when it was subject to a random check, police said. Warrants are now out for their arrest.

Global trade in rhino horn is banned by a UN convention, but in some fast-growing Asian countries it is prized as an ingredient in traditional medicines to treat everything from fever to cancer.

It is estimated that only some 29,000 rhinos are left in the wild today compared to 500,000 at the start of the 20th century, according to the International Rhino Foundation.

Africa is home to 80 percent of the world's remaining rhinos.

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Team Mekhong Wins 15th King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament; Over THB 6m Raised

After four days of fun festivities on the bank of Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River, the 15th King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament wrapped up on Sunday, 12th March.

A total of 25 unemployed ex-street elephants took part in this year’s tournament, during which time they received full veterinary checks from the Zoological Parks Organisation of Thailand (under the patronage of His Majesty the King of Thailand) and the Department of Livestock Development. In addition, all elephants were given essential vitamins, food and care which are not available to them during their normal daily lives.

The tournament was introduced to Thailand in 2001 by Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas and is now one of the biggest charitable events in the Kingdom, raising funds for projects that better the lives of Thailand’s elephant population. THB 6 million was raised this year, taking the total raised to date to over THB 50 million (US$1,400,000).

Funds will be donated to various projects including the Positive Reinforcement Target Training programme for mahouts and vets, the Zoological Parks Organisation of Thailand which supports veterinary and educational projects to improve the year-round lives of the 300 elephants and mahouts in Ban Ta Klang, Surin Province where ex-street elephants face ongoing hardship.

Team Mekhong beat the King Power Team 10-11 to win the 2017 King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament

Other significant benefits from the money raised by the tournament include: the ongoing Thai Elephant Therapy Project which has been underway since 2009 in conjunction with Chiang Mai University’s Department of Occupational Therapy, with future clinics to include children with Down’s syndrome and other conditions; a THB 500,000 gantry to help lame elephants stand donated to the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre (TECC); 4,000 trees planted in Hua Hin for elephant corridors to stop farmer/elephant conflicts; funding a conservation curriculum for schools to teach children the importance of conservation and protection of wild elephants in Thailand, and funding Asia’s first workshop to show traditional elephant trainers and camp owners the benefits of Positive Reinforcement Training for captive elephants.

To read the full article, click on the story title

Thailand lays out buffet for elephants in national celebration

Five dozen elephants used their trunks on Monday to scoop up bananas, melons and pineapples from baskets at a special buffet laid on in Thailand's ancient capital of Ayutthaya to celebrate the national animal.

For centuries, elephants carried warriors into battle, took a key role in royal ceremonies and provided haulage for logging and other industries, in the absence of machines.

Today they are more likely to be part of tourist attractions - where the animals are often mistreated, however, say rights activists.

"We plan to reduce the exploitation of elephants as much as possible," said Laithongrien Meepan, the manager of the Elephant Kraal and Village in Ayutthaya, where the buffet took place on Thailand's Elephant Day.

At the event, a Buddhist monk sprinkled holy water on some of the elephants and their trainers. Spectators also watched a pair of the animals lock tusks to re-enact a scene from an ancient historic battle.

Laithongrien said nearly a third of the elephants at the event no longer gave rides to visitors, but were available to be petted, bathed and fed.

There are about 3,700 elephants left in the wild in Thailand and up to 4,000 domesticated animals, says British conservation organisation EleAid.

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Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Thailand seizes 422 pieces of smuggled elephant tusks

BANGKOK

Thai authorities have seized 422 pieces of elephant tusks and arrested a Gambian man suspected of smuggling the ivory, customs officials said Tuesday.

The cut-up tusks were hidden in a shipment listed as unprocessed gemstones, Customs Department Director-General Kulit Sombatsiri said. The parcel was examined because Malawi is regarded as high-risk for smuggled goods and because a seizure last year had involved Mozambique ivory that was similarly concealed.

Kulit said Friday's seizure of 330 kilograms (726 pounds) of smuggled ivory worth around $480,000 was the first in Thailand this year. Thai customs officials last year confiscated more than 1,200 kilograms (2,640 pounds) of ivory in nine separate cases.

Sainy Jagne, 41, of Gambia was arrested in Bangkok on Sunday when he attempted to pick up the contraband, Kulit said. He faces charges of violating customs and wildlife protection laws.

The customs official didn't say where the smuggled ivory was being sent or if other people were suspected of involvement. There is an almost total international ban on the trade in ivory.

Poachers have killed tens of thousands of African elephants for their tusks in recent years to meet demand for ivory in Asia, putting the species at great risk. Thailand is a major transit hub and destination for smuggled tusks, which are often carved into tourist trinkets and ornaments. The biggest demand comes from China.

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Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Elephant group attacks taskforce over DNA tests, seizures

THE AYUTTHAYA Elephant Palace & Royal Kraal plans to lead elephants from across the country to Bangkok on National Thai Elephant Day to demand that the Phaya Suea, or “Tiger King”, taskforce is disbanded.

Laithongrien Meephan, owner of the elephant palace and president of the Thai Elephant Club, said that if Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha ignored their demands on March 13, they would bring elephants to various sites across the country in protest

Laithongrien presided over a meeting of representatives from various elephant camps from across the country, which resolved to establish a club for “anti-corruption, animal rights protection, promotion for National Parks Department reform and the eradication of evil”.

Most of the participants were dissatisfied with the Phaya Suea team’s work, which included checking the state elephant DNA bank and the seizure of elephants whose characteristics did not match identification documents.

They claimed the department’s DNA checks had flaws, which they believed to have stemmed from a problem within the agency.

State agencies were urged to perform their own internal probes and reveal information about elephant DNA test results for the years 2014 and 2016 as well as data about the agency’s budget.

They also wanted authorities to check the accuracy of elephant identification documents. The group said they would ask Prayut to invoke Article 44 of the interim charter to enforce the demands.

To read the full article, click on the story title

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Tourists hurt as bull elephant tries to mate with female

AYUTTHAYA - Three Japanese tourists and a mahout were hurt when a young bull elephant giving rides at a tourist attraction in Muang district tried suddenly to mate with a female on Tuesday.

The two terrified women passengers, and the mahout, fell from the animal's back to ground. A third tourist, who was taking photos nearby, was also injured.

The two Japanse were riding on a 20-year-old male elephant, known as Doraemon, with mahout Chainarong Phorkaew at the Ayothaya Elephant Village when the incident occurred around 11am.

Doraemon’s behaviour changed when it saw a young cow elephant, known as Wassana, walking nearby. He lunged quickly toward her and tried to mount her. She rejected his advances.

To read the full article, click on the story title

Woman dies after being stomped by aggressive elephants in Kanchanaburi

A woman of Karen origin was killed by a herd of angry wild elephants on Tuesday in the jungle in Kanchanaburi after being unable to escape their attack.

The victim was only identified by her first name, Chama. Her husband, Pujo, recounted to the police how they crossed paths with a herd of 30 elephants when they were taking a drink at a pond in the jungle in Thong Phaphum District.

The couple were walking home after work at the tapioca plant where they were employed in the early evening.

They tried to run but encountered even more elephants as they tried to escape.

Pujo shared his story with the Deputy Chief of Thong Phaphum Police Station, Pol. Col. Sumit Boonyanit.

Though Pujo was uninjured, his wife was not so lucky. The animals stomped her until she was dead. The police retrieved Chama’s body from the jungle, reported Bangkok Post.

Over the last year, elephant attacks have become more common as the wild creatures search for food due to shortages in the jungles and their ever-decreasing natural habitats.

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Friday, March 03, 2017

Bản in : Thai amazing elephant shows to kick off next month

 Thailand’s Amazing Surin Elephant shows will be held in the northeastern province next month.

Surin provincial governor Atthaporn Singhawichai announced that the Amazing Surin Elephant shows, designed as one of the first tourism campaigns in Thailand, will showcase the province’s elephant-raising and indigenous identity as well as the way of life of the mahouts; a lifestyle which has been passed down in families over the centuries.

This year’s event will feature a homecoming for 300 elephants to Surin province, large tables of food for elephants, an occasion which may be viewed as the world’s biggest ”elephant buffet”, mock elephant hunting and other arena performances. A contest on floats laden with food for the elephants will be held on November 19, 2015.

There will be a parade of over 20 vehicles carrying food for the elephants including fruits and vegetables. The parade will start at 2 p.m. in front of Sirindhorn School to the Monument of Phraya Surin Phakdi Srinarong Jangwang. The homecoming-party buffet for the elephants will be held on November 20, 2015. The parade of more than 300 elephants will start at 8.00 a.m. from Surin Train Station Surin to the Monument of Phraya Surin Phakdi Srinarong Jangwang where worshipping rituals will be held. The elephant shows will be held on November 21-22, 2015, from 8.30 a.m. until 11.30 a.m. at Surin Elephant Show Field (one show per day).

The event is scheduled from November 13 until November 24. The performances on the central stage at Si Narong Stadium will start from 6 – 12 p.m. The Amazing Surin Elephant shows are an annual event held in association with the Thara Red Cross Fair.-VNA

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Excruciating moment tourist is sent flying through the air after getting on an elephant’s bad side in Thailand

Volunteer got more than she bargained for when she tried to clean elephant with a sponge, only to be launched into the air

THIS is the painful moment a woman was launched into the air by a seemingly gentle elephant.

The tourist learnt the hard way that elephants are not to be messed with after she was unceremoniously launched into the air by one.

Footage of the cringeworthy incident depicts the moment the woman started washing the elephant with a sponge while in a river in Thailand.

The peaceful elephant is calmly playing with the water with its trunk one moment, before it decides it doesn’t like being washed.

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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Wild elephant kills one villager, seriously injures another in Chanthaburi

Wild elephants from Ang Rue Nai wildlife sanctuary ransacked homes and plantations in Kaeng Hang Maeo district of Chanthaburi province and killed one villager before dawn today
Another villager was also seriously injured.

Villagers said a herd of wild elephants came out of the wildlife sanctuary for food in Tambon Khunsong ransacking homes and plantations of villagers.

One villager who went tapping rubber latex along with other neighbours at a rubber plantation was killed by a bull elephant.

He was later identified as Thongdang Tumnanork, 46.

His death was reported to his wife at home by other neighbours who were also working in the rubber plantations.

Alerted local authorities inspecting the scene found his dead body at the rubber plantation, while another tapping rubber a kilometre away was also injured by elephant from the same herd.

Forestry officials were searching for the herd in the bud to drive it back to the wildlife sanctuary

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Elephants in Ayutthaya undergo DNA tests

AYUTTHAYA, 27 December 2017 (NNT) - A special task force visited an elephant camp in Ayutthaya to prove whether two suspected elephants were legally obtained.

The mahouts and staff at the elephant camp, also known as the Royal Elephant Kraal & Village, initially refused to allow the task force to conduct DNA tests on two male elephants named Ko Phaya Phet and TG amid fears they would be taken away.

Chaiwat Limlikhit-aksorn, who led the special task force in this operation, said the animals were supposed to be in the custody of a responsible agency for an investigation to find out where they were from originally.

The elephant camp decided to move them to Ayutthaya before the investigation could be carried out. The camp owner, Romthongsai Meephan, confirmed both animals had been obtained lawfully.

She also showed documents issued by the Department of Provincial Administration to prove her innocence.

Romthingsai later allowed the blood tests to be conducted after hours of conversation with Deputy Director-General of the Department of Naitonal Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation and the President of Phra Kochasarn Foudantion, Laithonglian Meephan.

The blood samples taken from the elephants will be sent to three different labs to find out if they are related to other elephants elsewhere.

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Curious elephant approaches tourists' vehicles in Thailand

KHAO YAI NATIONAL PARK, Thailand, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- An elephant at a national park in Thailand was filmed approaching tourists' cars in an apparent attempt to say "hello" -- or find some snacks.

The video, filmed last year, shows an elephant walking down a road passing through Khao Yai National Park.

The elephant approaches vehicles filled with tourists and appears to be using its trunk in an attempt to get into one of the SUVs.

The filmer can be heard explaining the elephant appears to be trying to get some food that's apparently visible inside the vehicle.


To read the full article, click on the story title

Friday, February 10, 2017

Wild elephants on rampage in Rayong

RAYONG -- A herd of wild elephants from Khao Chamao mountain raided a plantation in Khao Chamao district on Monday night, rooting up pineapples and tearing down rubber trees.

Wanpen Kwannet, 40, a villager of Moo 2 village in tambon Khao Noy, said she was woken up late last night by the noise of wild elephants approaching her 80-rai plantation, but did not dare to go out to take a look.

Early this morning, she found the elephants had uprooted and eaten her pineapples and trampled rubber trees, causing extensive damage.

Mrs Wanpen said her plantation had frequently been raided by the elephants. She informed the village chief, but the only thing he did was taking pictures of the destruction.

Somboon Teerabundhitkul, wildlife conservation director of the 2nd Conservation Administration Office, said that after receiving a report on the elephant attack he ordered officials of the Khao Ang Ruenai wildlife protection area to investigate and provide assistance to the victim.

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Most elephants in Thailand registered for DNA checks

More than 3,440 domesticated elephants – or almost 99 percent of the animals’ total documented population in the Thailand – have been registered for DNA checks to verify their identifies and origins.

The move is a renewed effort to recheck the country’s elephant population following the issuance of an order under Article 44 of the interim constitution last September, said Parks Department chief Thanya Netithammakul on Thursday.

The article, issued under the sweeping power afforded National Council for Peace and Order chief Prayut Chan-o-cha, requires concerned agencies to register the elephants for a fresh round of DNA checks, which would then be certified along with the animals’ identification documents.

Under the order, they must finish the work by March. It project aims to help close a loophole involving the illegal smuggling of wild elephants and those incorrectly registered as domesticated elephants. The problem is rampant and severely affects the country’s wildlife conservation efforts.

To read the full article, click on the story title

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Elephant electrocuted after straying from herd in Odisha

Rourkela (Odisha), Jan 25 (PTI) A female elephant was electrocuted today after coming in contact with a live wire while munching leaves in Bisra forest range in Sundargarh district, forest officials said.

The elephant, aged around nine years, had strayed from a herd of nine elephants and came in contact with high tension wire while munching leaves from a tree near Garda village.

The elephant apparently pulled a branch and the live wire attached to the tree also came down, electrocuting the jumbo, the officials said.

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Monday, January 30, 2017

Firecrackers scare away wild elephants from crop raiding in Chanthaburi

Farmers living in Kaeng Harng Maew wildlife sanctuary in Chanthaburi province scared away a herd of 50 wild elephants with firecrackers as the animals tried to raid their crops Friday night.
The thunderous sounds frightened and prevented the wild elephants from the crop raiding, and forced them to flee in various directions.

Unfortunately five of them fell into the muddy pond where they got stuck and unable to get out.

Farmers heard the shouting sounds of the five elephants early this morning, forcing them to alert sanctuary officials to come and rescue them.

Rescue team backed with a backhoe arrived at Village 5 of Tambon Paws in Kaeng Harng Maew district and began dredging a slope for the elephants to get out by themselves.

But as they got out, some turned to the backhoe in a bid to attack the driver.

With the experience of the driver in dealing with animals trapped in muddy ponds, he drove to confront the angry elephants and blew the horn loudly, scaring off the aggressive animals.

The five elephants later joined it’s herd and went back to their traditional home.

Officials said they believed that farmers fired gunshots, burst firecrackers and throwing ping pong bombs in order to prevent crop raiding by wild elephants.

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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Two Phuket Livestock officials injured as elephant bolts

PHUKET: Two local government officials were injured on Saturday (Jan 21) as Phuket Provincial Livestock Office continued to carry out their current campaign to identify and register all legal elephants in Phuket.

The injuries occurred when one elephant, believed to have been spooked by another, bolted during official’s inspection of the Safari elephant camp in Saiyuan, Rawai.

At 11:30am on Saturday, Capt Somkiet Sarasit of the Chalong Police was informed of an incident where an elephant had bolted at the Safari elephant camp Rawai leaving two persons injured.

Upon arrival at the camp Capt Somkiet and his team witnessed one elephant making a run from the camp. The elephant’s mahout Mr Sorapong Chalaethaisong, 37, and a camp staffer Mr Wanchalearm Siripak, 29, were chasing after the animal.

After a time, Mr Wanchalearm managed to get the elephant under control and return it to the camp.

During their investigation, police discovered a damaged pickup truck and minivan in the elephant camp’s car park.

They were also told that two Livestock officials, who had already been taken to Chalong Accident and Emrgency Centre, had suffered various injuries to their bodies, but nothing serious.


Read more at http://www.thephuketnews.com/two-phuket-livestock-officials-injured-as-elephant-bolts-60743.php#R4EejcRhYU0BJoAY.99

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Farm-raiding wild elephants moved to national park

NARATHIWAT -- Two wild elephants that have been raiding village crops for 5 months were finally moved to a national park in an 11 hour operation overnight involving 500 people.


The villagers were joined by soldiers, administrators, park rangers, police and veterinarians. Late Sunday they began patiently herding the elephants from a fruit farm where they had been located in Ban Buenae Nakor, in tambon Tamayung of Si Sakhon district, to a local road where two large trucks were parked, waiting.

The animals were then tranquilised, their legs secured with thick ropes, and forced to board the vehicles, with people pulling the ropes and others poking them with sharpened bamboo poles, said Manit Nooyim,local director of national parks, wildlife and plant conservation.

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Thai baby elephant takes a dip in the pool for rehab

A baby elephant rescued from an animal trap gets hydrotherapy treatment as part of a lengthy rehabilitation process to heal her injured foot. Colette Luke from reuters reports.

Thailand's five-month-old baby elephant Fah Jam getting some hydrotherapy to heal her injured foot. After walking into a trap set by villagers in November, Baby Fah Jam is being looked after at a private garden in the city of Pattaya..

MANAGING DIRECTOR OF NONG NOOCH TROPICAL GARDEN, KAMPON TANSACHA, SAYING: "Right now her health, I think we are quite safe to say that is almost hundred percent and now is only the leg problem, and we must solve that..."

Like any youngster - she's petrified at having to walk on the injured left front foot.

But the vet doesn't want to have to give Fah Jam a prosthetic ... and that's why they're having her swim...

The therapy will take up to two months...and she should be able to get by...

Thailand has some 3700 elephants left in the wild with another 4,000 domesticated. A baby elephant rescued from an animal trap gets hydrotherapy treatment as part of a lengthy rehabilitation process to heal her injured foot. Colette Luke reports.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Rescued roaring elephant sounds like a dinosaur revving a motorbike as carers apply his arthritis treatments

A rescued elephant sounds like a cross between a revving motorbike and a dinosaur as carers treat his arthritis.

Phuki is an Asian elephant who was rescued from exploitation in Thailand's logging industry, and now resides in a sanctuary in Chiang Rai.

He has bad ankles, chronic abscesses, arthritis, and a poorly healed broken ankle after years moving huge quantities of wood.

Footage captures his new handlers trying to calm him down while administering his daily leg treatments that help reduce his pain.

Phuki is also in musth, a periodic condition in male elephants characterised by highly aggressive behavior due to a large rise in reproductive hormones.

This means he is agitated easily during his procedures, as is evident from his roar.

Elephants tuck their trunks in their mouths when they are trying to keep calm and Phuki's handler is seen attempting to comfort him by touching his upper palate.

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Wild elephants damage houses in Kaeng Hang Maew, Chanthaburi

A herd of 50 wild elephants went on rampage, damaging homes and motorcycles of farmers living at a village in Kaeng Hang Maew district of Chanthaburi before dawn Friday.

One villager Mrs Somsong Nongyai told village headman and district officer that she was awakened from bed after hearing roaring from elephants near the house. As she was so scared, she didn’t come out but looked through the ventilation channel of what was going on. She said she saw a herd of 50 elephants there and some walked towards her house and destroyed the motorcycles outside.

After that the herd went towards her neighbour’s houses.

One neighbour identified as Cherb Suksawat,70, was injured when one elephant stepped on his back. He shouted for help from other neighbours. He was not hurt as he managed to escape before the elephants ransacked his house.

The herd also scared away rubber tappers who usually come out to tap in rubber plantations before dawn.

Shouts from him and his neighbours frightened the elephants and forced them to turn to the house of another villager Prasert Channoi, 60, who was drinking coffee. The elephants ransacked his house, destroying a fridge, cupboard and kitchen.

Local authorities are at the scene to assess the damages and to find way to prevent the wild elephants coming to the village again.

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New calf born at Ayutthaya elephant kraal

AYUTTHAYA -- The Wang Chang Ayutthaya Elephant Kraal in tambon Suan Phrik has a new arrival - a male calf born at 4.40am on Monday.

Romthongsai Meephan, the owner of the kraal, said 30-year-old Phang Dok Sano gave birth to a calf weighing about 70 kilogrammes.  The youngster was healthy and strong, with all the dominant features of a male Thai elephant.

The new kraal member was fathered by Phlai Ngathong, a bull from a breeding centre of the Phra Kochabal Foundation.

The mahouts at the kraal named their new member "Phlai Prapphayak."

Mrs Romthongsai said she would register the birth of Phlai Prapphayak with the Provincial Administration Department today.

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Saturday, January 07, 2017

Baby Elephant Who Was Rescued From the Trekking Industry Gets Awesome Birthday Party

Each year, millions of tourists flock to Thailand in the hopes of interacting with Asian elephants. Popular tourist encounters include everything from taking selfies with calves to riding on an elephant in the jungle. Tragically, these “entertaining” endeavors often lead tourists to believe that these excursions are normal and somehow acceptable. Most tourists are unaware of the abuse elephants face when in captivity but considering how endangered Asian elephants are, the facade needs to end now. Between poaching, the tourism industry, and habitat loss, both African and Asian elephants are in danger of becoming extinct within our lifetimes.

According to the National Geographic, the median lifespan of a zoo-born female is just 17 years with Asian elephants living up to 19 years in captivity and 42 in the wild. If that’s not telling, we don’t know what is – but it comes as little surprise as wild elephants form close relationships with other family members. Calves will stay with their mothers for around 16 years, but the elephant tourism business shatters this bond at the ripe age of six months. The fulfilling life these animals lead in the wild makes any captive scenario seem unbearable.

To read the full article, click on the story title

Friday, December 16, 2016

Adopt an Elephant for a Day in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Fortunately, if you care about the welfare of elephants, it’s still possible to go elephant riding in Thailand – you just have to be discerning. Wild elephants in Thailand are now an endangered species, and those held in captivity for the entertainment of tourists are often cruelly mistreated. Patara Elephant Farm makes it their mission to reverse the negative impact of elephant entertainment and allow visitors to become custodians of these unique animals.

The Patara Elephant Farm is Thailand’s only elephant breeding centre. Their focus is on educating the public about animal welfare, whilst providing visitors with an unforgettable experience that you can feel good about.

The Patara Elephant Farm is Thailand’s only elephant breeding centre. Their focus is on educating the public about animal welfare, whilst providing visitors with an unforgettable experience that you can feel good about.

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Elephant moved, two others impounded in Hua Hin

PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN - A special task force on Monday moved an impounded elephant from a zoo in Hua Hin and seized two others after finding they did not match their identification papers.

Such inconsistencies indicate they might have been wild animals illegally brought to captivity.

Chaiwat Limlikit-aksorn, chief of the Phaya Sua special task force, led a team to move an impounded 25-year-old male elephant from Hua Hin zoo after learning it had been relocated without approval.

In June, the task force examined the elephant. According to its ID, the pachyderm was 14 years old and did not have tusks. But a physical examination and a DNA test revealed it should be around 25 years old with two one-metre tusks. The team then impounded the elephant but still allowed the zoo to take care of it.


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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Injured elephant disappears after being hit by pickup

CHACHOENGSAO: Authorities are searching for a wild elephant that was injured after being struck by a pickup truck late Friday night.

The elephant, which had wandered away from the Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary, was crossing the Sanam Chai Khet-Tha Takiab Road between kilometre makers 93 and 94 in Sanam Chai Khet district when the pickup...

Police and rescue workers rushed to the scene after being alerted and found the badly damaged pickup at the scene. Driver Phet Khampao, 45, of Si Sa Ket, was trapped in the wreckage.

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Sunday, November 13, 2016

INJURED ELEPHANT DISAPPEARS AFTER BEING HIT BY PICKUP

Police inspect the wreckage of a pickup truck that struck a wild elephant crossing the road in Sanam Chai Khet district of Chachoengsao late Friday night. (Photo by Sonthanaporn Inchan)
CHACHOENGSAO: Authorities are searching for a wild elephant that was injured after being struck by a pickup truck late Friday night.

The elephant, which had wandered away from the Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary, was crossing the Sanam Chai Khet-Tha Takiab Road between kilometre makers 93 and 94 in Sanam Chai Khet district when the pickup struck it at around 11.30pm on Friday, said Pol Capt Banpot Ruamphat, a deputy crime suppression officer at the Sanam Chai Khet police station.

Police and rescue workers rushed to the scene after being alerted and found the badly damaged pickup at the scene. Driver Phet Khampao, 45, of Si Sa Ket, was trapped in the wreckage.

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Sunday, November 06, 2016

Nong Nooch rescues orphaned elephant

Nong Nooch Tropical Garden is nursing back to health a baby elephant abandoned in the wild by its mother.

Park Director Kampol Tansajja said the Najomtien elephant park recently took in 3-month-old Fa Jaem after it was seen wandering alone on Khao Anglanai in Chachoengsao Oct. 19. It finally was captured by residents of Chan­thaburi, but not before the baby pachyderm’s legs were injured by a trap.

The animal was taken to a veterinarian in Chachoengsao, but doctors transferred Fa Jaem to Nong Nooch for better care. It was welcomed and named at a ceremony Oct. 25.

Kampol said the female juvenile will be under the care of vet Padej Siridamrong and is being suckled by two cows who recently had miscarriages.

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Elephants in Ayutthaya rehearse for Grand Palace tribute parade

Ten elephants were brought to a full dress rehearsal at the Royal Elephant Kraal Village in Ayutthaya province yesterday ahead of their participation in mourning for the late King Bhumibol at the Grand Palace in Bangkok on Tuesday.

Laithongrien Meepan, president of the Prakochabaan Foundation elephant protection organisation, said that the 10 animals – which were selected for their beautiful characteristics including long tusks – would be joined by their mahouts and foundation staff in paying respects to the late monarch.

The rehearsal and previous training of the beasts were to ensure they were fully prepared before travelling to Bangkok early on Tuesday morning, he said.

An elegantly decorated elephant named Plai Wang will lead the other elephants, all adorned in black embroidered cloths, in a procession carrying a portrait of His Majesty with the royal white elephant Phra Sawet Adulyadej Phahon.

The procession, which will also be attended by 200 mahouts, will pass the Defence Ministry at 9.09am on Tuesday before entering the Grand Palace. Then all elephants and mahouts will stand still in mourning and prostrate themselves in high respect to the late King. They will later return to Ayutthaya.

Laithongrien said all the elephants in the procession were best males from the Ayutthaya Elephant Palace’s Elephant Breeding Centre and had performed a show in front of the late King during his last visit to Ayutthaya’s Thung Makham Yong in 2012.

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/national/30299261

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Injured baby elephant saved from hunters in Chanthaburi, mother’s whereabouts unknown

A baby elephant with an injured leg was rescued from Chanthaburi hunters on Wednesday night. Now, forestry officers and locals are looking to find the calf an adoptive mother since the whereabouts of his own mom are unknown.

The baby elephant, just three-months-old, had been injured by a trap. It was found  in the Khaeng Hang Maew jungle by Wandee Dokdin, Moo 12 chief, and four other village people, reported Bangkok Post. 

The rescuers brought the baby from the jungle and took it by pickup truck to a Chachoengsao wildlife office early on Thursday. The elephant’s wounds were treated by veterinarians. It was also fed milk and a wildlife official said that the calf’s health was getting better. They have named the baby “Jam.”

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:http://news.thaivisa.com/thailand/injured-baby-elephant-saved-from-hunters-in-chanthaburi-mothers-whereabouts-unknown/157258/

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Two kids make the morning walk to school with their pet ELEPHANTS

These two children pack their trunks before heading off to school – with their two pet ELEPHANTS.

Siblings Nong, seven, and Ong, five, trudge a almost a mile holding the young elephant by his ear with the older one in tow.

The pair are so close to their enormous pets they can lie down together in the grass to take a break and do their homework.

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Herd of elephants work together to protect calf in Thailand river during bath time

You've probably heard the saying that it takes a village to raise a child. In this case, it takes a herd of elephants to protect a calf. YouTube video shows a group of elephants wading in a river for bath time at the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand. The current was too strong for the baby elephant. So the herd showed their instinctive, protective nature by standing in a circle around the calf to protect it from the current. Eventually the adult elephants were able to guide the baby safely back ..

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:http://www.ooyuz.com/geturl?aid=13506658

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Reckless driver who crashed bus into an ELEPHANT ignored passengers' warnings to slow down as footage emerges showing moment of impact

  • WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT- Coach was travelling from Bangkok to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand
  • Vehicle smashed into an eight-year-old elephant which walked onto road
  • It died instantly as it was crushed against the windscreen at 60mph

Shocking footage shows the moment a male elephant is hit by a bus travelling at full speed.

The incident happened on the Lampang-Chiang Mai Road in the Lampang province of northern Thailand.

The animal, named Phlai Udom, was walking along the same road, protected by a barrier put up to keep elephants safe, but just as the bus overtook it had turned left to go into a forest.

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Elephants in Thailand to have DNA registered

Under new laws, the genetic code of all captive Thai elephants will have to be recorded to help distinguish them from their wild counterparts

Thailand has just announced a new law for all elephant owners which required them to adopt a DNA Registration System to keep track of all captive elephants. This comes in response to a number of investigations carried out by NGO Elephant Family and mounting pressure from the conservation sector.This important step will ensure that captive-bred elephants can be easily distinguished from their wild counterparts. The news comes during the 17th Conference of the Parties for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in South Africa.

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/campaigns/GiantsClub/elephants-in-thailand-to-have-dna-registered-a7345341.html

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Broken tusk missing after elephant killed in bus crash

LAMPANG - One tusk of a pet bull elephant killed in a crash with an inter-provincial bus in Hang Chat district is missing, a senior police officer said on Sunday. The left tusk, about 70cm long and weighing...

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/1100688/broken-tusk-missing-after-elephant-killed-in-bus-crash.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Who's going to find me some friends? Mali the world's loneliest elephant wants to pack her trunk and go to Thailand after 33 YEARS on her own


Campaigners are calling on the Filipino government to free the country’s only elephant and allow her to be sent to Thailand to spend her final years among her own kin after three decades of solitude.

Mali the elephant has spent 35 years in a barren concrete pen at the Manila Zoo without any inter-species contact and only a small pool to entertain her.

A celebrity backed PETA campaign is now demanding that the elderly elephant's years of loneliness come to an end and that she is reunited with other elephants at a sanctuary in Thailand.

Mali was torn from her mother in Sri Lanka at the age of three and sent to the Philippines as a gift to then-president Ferdinand Marcos in 1977.

She has since spent her days in loneliness and boredom in the small enclosure at the zoo in the capital and is reportedly suffering from a number of ailments as a result of her captivity and age.

Efforts to 'deport' Mali have increased in recent weeks as more groups have joined the campaign, backed by several celebrities including film diva Brigitte Bardot, artist Morrissey and Nobel laureate J.M Coetzee.

They propose the lonely lady be sent to The Thai Elephant Conservation Centre in Lampang province, to be with an estimated 50 elephants in a forest setting.

To read the full article, click on the story title

Ivory Trade Ban In Thailand Urged By The World Wildlife Fund


BANGKOK (AP) — An international conservation group on Tuesday urged Thailand to ban all ivory trading, warning that rising demand for tusks is fueling an unprecedented slaughter of elephants in Africa.

The World Wildlife Fund said "massive quantities" of African ivory are being imported illegally into Thailand, where they are carved into Buddhist statues, bangles and jewelry that are then sold to tourists or smuggled elsewhere. Although it is against the law to sell African tusks in Thailand, ivory from domesticated elephants can be traded legally.

"Many foreign tourists would be horrified to learn that ivory trinkets on display next to silks in Thai shops may come from elephants massacred in Africa," said Elisabeth McLellan, manager of WWF's Global Species Program. "It is illegal to bring ivory back home and it should no longer be on sale in Thailand."

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Friday, January 11, 2013

One lump or poo: World's most expensive coffee at £30 a cup made using beans digested and, er, flavoured by elephants


Forget robusta and arabica - this is the world's most expensive coffee, given its unique flavour by...an elephant's digestive tract.
The thought of a coffee bean passing through an elephant's internal organs might not leave coffee-lovers overly enthused.
But the unique coffee, created in the hills of northern Thailand, is now the world's most expensive variety

To read the full article, click on the story title

Elephant 'swallows' tourist's iPhone


A Thai elephant appears to have swallowed a Chinese visitor's iPhone while she was taking pictures of her friend feeding bananas to the animal at a tourist spot. The phone was later recovered from the elephant's dung, or so it seems in a video that has gone viral on the web.

The incident, at an unidentified elephant camp in Thailand, was conveniently filmed by a third person. But some netizens are not convinced by the video and think it was staged.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The 11th King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament is the biggest and best yet


The 11th annual King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament came to a close on Sunday in the royal seaside town of Hua Hin. Attended by teams from all over the world as well as royals, celebrities and many other VIP guests, the tournament was a resounding success, offering up a showcase of skillful play, plenty of memorable moments and a new winning team for 2012.

To read the full article click on the story title

Religious Ivory Demand Killing Elephants by Thousands


Elephants are being illegally killed across Africa at the highest rates in a decade, and the global religious market for ivory is a driving force. "Blood Ivory," the cover story in the October issue of National Geographic, offers the first in-depth investigation of this untold story.

While it’s impossible to say exactly how many elephants are slaughtered annually, a conservative estimate for 2011 is more than 25,000. And thousands of those are dying to satisfy religious devotion, their tusks smuggled into countries to be carved into religious artifacts: ivory baby Jesuses and saints for Catholics in the Philippines, Islamic prayer beads for Muslims and Coptic crosses for Christians in Egypt, amulets and carvings for Buddhists in Thailand, and in China—the world’s biggest ivory-consumer country—elaborate Buddhist and Taoist carvings for investors.

To read the full article click on the story title

Friday, May 08, 2009

Ministry orders halt to elephant exports

APINYA WIPATAYOTIN, Bangkok Post

April 24, 2009
Elephant exports will be suspended for at least five years until a new registration process for the captive beasts is complete, says the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry.

Better records on elephants born on farms are needed, including new ID cards, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Suwit Khunkitti said yesterday.

"We decided not to export any more elephants until we have a better system to prove that the beasts we send overseas are from farms, not from forests," Mr Suwit said.

"This can help protect them from poaching."

The process would take at least five years.

The Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation has estimated that there are 3,000 elephants living in the wild and another 3,000 on farms.

Poachers take elephants from the wild and domesticate them so they can be traded legally at home or sent overseas.

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Hunted in the wild

Our national symbol is losing the freedom to roam the nation's forests
Tunya Sukpanich, Bangkok Post
March 8, 2009

After two months at the Mahidol University livestock and wild animal hospital in Sai Yok district of Kanchanaburi province, most of the deep wounds on Pang Kanjana's body were healed, but the adult elephant still had a deformed and crippled left hind leg from a broken bone suffered long ago. While at the hospital Pang Kanjana was found to be three to four months pregnant following an ultrasound check-up. (Pang is used for female elephants, while Plai is used for male elephants.)

The owner, Boontham Sala-gharm, had successfully registered Pang Kanjana at the Muang district office in Kanchanaburi and obtained an identity certificate for her on Dec 22, 2008. The next day, however, when Mr Boontham sought a travel permit at the provincial Livestock Department office so he could take the elephant to Phetchaburi province, her condition raised a red flag with officials, who ordered him to take her to the animal hospital in Sai Yok. Mr Boontham , from Surin province, claims that he bought the jumbo for 400,000 baht at Ban Nam Pu Ron along the Thai-Burma border out of compassion, using money borrowed from the Bank of Agriculture and Cooperatives (BAAC) and ''loansharks' in Surin.. The elephant's wounds, as well as her demeanor, made veterinarians and livestock officials wonder if she might have been captured from the wild, strictly prohibited under Thai law. When she arrived at the hospital she appeared frightened and depressed, and avoided people.

Her diet was also a tip-off that she might be a wild elephant. She eats only banana trees a

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Elephants' future truncated

APINYA WIPATAYOTIN, Bangkok Post
March 13, 2009

The plight of Thailand's elephants has reached a crisis point with the current herd of captive beasts expected to disappear in the next 14 years, conservationists say.

But the national committee in charge of protecting the welfare of elephants has not met since 2003 and is badly in need of reform.

The National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department is pressing for the renewal of the committee on Thai elephants and wants it chaired by the natural resources and environment minister.

Department chief Kasemsun Chinnavaso said the committee should be an effective agency to deal with the serious problems plaguing elephants.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A GIANT PROBLEM

Elephant incursions on farmland around the Salakpra Wildlife Sanctuary are an ongoing challenge
KLOYKAMOL SIRIBHAKDI, Bangkok Post
April 21, 2008

The forestry officers at the Salakpra Wildlife Sanctuary sat on the back of a pick-up in semi-darkness, stars twinkling above their heads. Only the soft sound of their chat penetrated the silence. The gathering was so pleasant that we almost forgot why they were here - to prevent wild elephants from the jungle coming to eat crops on the farm.

"They are very intelligent animals. They will wait until no cars are passing and then cross the street," said one officer. It takes 10 of them to surround the invaders and drive them away with firecrackers.

They are here almost every night in the dry season, from November to March or May, when the ripening corn or sugar cane crops lure elephants with their irresistible smells. Elephants usually pay a visit to farmlands at night, from about 8pm onwards, because it's quiet and they're less likely to be disturbed.

Perhaps the herd knew they were going to be ambushed that night, and they stayed away. Luckily for the farmers, their crops were safe for another night. But only for one night. The crop raids, or what the Elephant Conservation Network (ECN) calls "human-elephant conflicts" (HEC), are a common problem found across the world, including Africa and South Asia. In Salakpra, the first incident was reported in 1982 and has persisted for more than 25 years, with more damage incurred in the last five years.

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Walk on the wild side

Meet 'Dr Lott', wildlife vet
KRITTIYA WONGTAVAVIMARN, BAngkok Post
March 4, 2008

It took Pattarapol Maneeorn five days trekking through the jungle in Chanthaburi province to find a 65-year-old wild elephant stuck in mud. By the time the wildlife vet arrived, the animal was breathing slowly, his eyes showing his fatigue; his heart, left lung and kidney were being pressed down on by his six-tonne body.

Given medicine and doses of vitamins, the elephant became a little stronger. Three days later, a group of soldiers and local villagers tried to haul the creature from the mud. He groaned noisily, trying to lift himself up. Finally he was able to stand on his hind legs, one last time, before he fell dead to the ground.

"He had been waiting for me for so long. And it was too late to nurse him back to health.

"But I couldn't get there any faster, I just couldn't," Pattarapol admitted, his eyes hidden behind black sunglasses. Before his arrival, he was treating a wounded Indian muntjac deer in Kao Yai, about 250km away.

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Thailand a key player in illegal wildlife trade

Apinya Wipatayotin, Bangkok Post
March 1, 2008

Thailand is a key player in the wild elephant trade, with the country being used as a transit point for jumbos from neighbouring countries on their way to foreign zoos, according to a report from the Thai Wildlife Protection Network.
Nikom Puttha, the network coordinator who commissioned the report on the wildlife situation in Thailand in 2007, said wild elephant calves from Burma are transported to Thailand via five border districts _ Mae Sariang, Mae La Noi and Sop Moei districts in Mae Hong Son and Umphang and Phop Phra in Tak.
It is estimated that at least 50 elephants have been smuggled from Burma to Thailand each year.
The smugglers then apply for registration documents from authorities to certify they are captive elephants. The documents enable wildlife traders to legally move their animals to elephant shelters where they are trained for three years before being sent to foreign zoos.
''We have found that 70% of them will be trained at shelters in the northeastern provinces, such as Surin and Chaiyaphum, while 30% of them will be sent to elephant shelters in the North,'' said Mr Nikom.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Wild elephants trample Thai monk to death

Monsters and Critics
February 22, 2008

Bangkok - A herd of wild elephants trampled a Thai Buddhist monk to death and severely injured another who had entered the forest to meditate, media reports said Friday.

Nattaporn Kittiyano, 38, and Wichian Khemmako, 43, had strolled into the forest Wednesday evening at the Thap Lan National Park in Nakorn Ratchasima province, 200 kilometres north-east of Bangkok, to meditate when they chanced upon a herd of 11 wild pachyderms, including four babies, the Thai Rath newspaper reported.

The elephants surrounded the two monks, who attempted to hide in the bushes, and trampled Nattaporn to death and injuring Wichian, who managed to flee and alert fellow monks at the nearby Bolong temple.

When four other monks came to check on Nattaporn, the elephants chased them up a tree where they were forced to remain for almost two hours.

Thap Lan National Park director Yuthanna Sringernngam said this was the wrong season to stumble into elephants.

'This is elephant mating season, so they are very dangerous, and if you meet a herd of pachyderms now, you should just run away,' Yuthanna told the Thai Rath, a mass circulation daily.

He noted that under Thai law, wild elephants were a protected species, so no revenge would be sought for Nattaporn's death.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Inquiry into sudden death of wild elephant

Bangkok Post
January 22, 2008

Kanchanaburi _ Veterinarians are investigating the death of a wild elephant at Thong Pha Phum national park where conflicts between locals and the jumbos are on the rise.

Park officials were told by villagers who spotted the male elephant, aged about 25, that it had sustained a serious wound to its front left leg last week.

The vets were called in to herd the injured animal out of the deep jungle for treatment. But while the team was getting the 4.5 tonne animal onto a lorry it slipped to the ground and died.

An initial examination found the elephant's left leg was broken. The vets did not think this caused its death.

There are about 60 wild elephants in the national park.

Authorities are concerned about elephant-human confrontations because the animals often raid farms.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Elephants block road, kill man

CHAIWAT SATYAEM, Bangkok Post
December 31, 2007

Prachuap Khiri Khan _ A herd of wild elephants trampled a Karen man to death and injured his friend near a road in Hua Hin district yesterday.

The dead man was identified only as Bird.

He died of head injuries and multiple broken bones.

Haepo, 19, also a Karen, was treated in hospital for less serious hand and leg injuries.

Mr Haepo told police he was driving a motorcycle with Bird riding pillion. They were on their way home after a night out when they came across the elephants, which were blocking the Hua Hin-Ban Huay Satyai Pala-u road.

He said he tried to go around the animals but an elephant suddenly emerged from behind a nearby bush and charged at them.

As he tried to speed off to escape the attack, he lost control of his bike and it plunged into a roadside ditch.

The other elephants then joined in the attack, inflicting fatal injuries on Bird.

Realising that he could do nothing to help his friend, Mr Haepo ran to save his own life.

He took cover in the nearby woods until villagers came to his rescue.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Epidemic might have killed six elephants, says veterinarian

The Nation
October 27, 2007

The skeletons of the six elephants found on Thursday in Chanthaburi indicated that the animals might have died in great pain, a veterinarian said yesterday.

Pattarapon Maneeon said chemical poisoning might not be the only possibility and an epidemic could have killed them. The carcasses of the six cows, aged 15 to 40, were decomposed but vets managed to retrieve some flesh, bones, abdomen fat, grass from their stomachs and maggots.

The jumbos were dead for two months so traces of disease or chemicals might have disintegrated and disappeared, Pattarapon said. He will contact the Medical Science Depart-ment, National Institute of Animal Health and veterinary faculties at universities to see if they can help with testing.

Chalermsak Wanichsombat, director-general of the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, said he would ask for assistance from labs at Kasetsart and Mahidol universities. He believes the elephants probably died from an epidemic, not chemicals, but wants scientific results to confirm the cause.

Pattarapon said it appeared that the jumbos did not perish instantly and might have suffered a lot, as they appeared to have been struggling. Villagers had also spoken of hearing elephants crying in agony.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

First elephant released into wild under foundation plan

Pasara Puthamat, The Nation
May 20. 2007

After two years of careful training to prepare Pang Kham Mool Yai for life in the wild, the 35-year-old elephant was yesterday released into the Sublangka Wildlife Sanctuary.

Kham Mool Yai is the first domesticated elephant to be introduced to the wild under a programme that will see a further 80 released over time by the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation.

However, many fear the animals may not be able to adjust.

Kasetsart University's Narit Bhumiphakphan said domestic elephants born and raised in captivity depended on humans for survival.

"It will be very hard for them to change their habits and survive," he said.


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Monday, April 09, 2007

Thailand drought tough on elephants

Science Daily
March 17, 2007

BANGKOK, March 17 (UPI) -- Elephants have been coming out of Thailand's jungles in search of food and water because of an ongoing drought.

The Bangkok Post reported Saturday that drought, along with "ecologically destructive farming practices," have posed a major threat to natural sources of food and shelter for elephants in the wild.

Soraida Salwala, founder of the Friends of the Asian Elephant group, told the Post, "Undoubtedly, the drastic climate change is now a cause of concern because if it drags on and worsens, the well-being of hundreds of elephants will be in jeopardy."

To read the full story click on the link in the blog title

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Road closing at night to frustrate freebooting elephants

MANIT SNUBBOON, Bangkok Post
January 18, 2007
Chachoengsao _ The road through Khao Ang Rue Nai wildlife sanctuary will be closed at night to stop wild elephants stopping and raiding cargo trucks. ''A herd of about 20 elephants frequently blocks the road and holds up cargo trucks until a bundle of sugarcane, tapioca or pineapple is tossed to them as a highway fee,'' Chachoengsao governor Arnont Promnart said yesterday.
Otherwise, the truculent animals would attack and damage the trucks, as happened on Jan 6.
Effective in the next few days, the 14.7km route No. 3259 through the park _ the Ban Nong Kog-Ban Wang Nam Phon road _ will be closed from 9pm to 5am to prevent further danger to travellers and wildlife.
Mr Arnont said the matter was urgent because during the dry season wild animals would cross the road to drink at the Phutai reservoir at night.
The governor acted on sanctuary chief Yoo Senatham's suggestion after the elephants' behaviour became worse, with two herds now involved in the pillaging at night.

To read the full story click on the blog title