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.

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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.

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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.


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.

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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


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.

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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.”

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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 ..

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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.

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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...

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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.

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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 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

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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.

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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


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

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.

For the full article click on the story title

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Elephant incursions on farmland around the Salakpra Wildlife Sanctuary are an ongoing challenge
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
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

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

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.

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Elephants stop, loot trucks on dark road

January 12, 2007
Chachoengsao _ The chief of Khao Ang Rue Nai wants the road through the wildlife sanctuary closed at night after a herd of elephants held up and looted a string of cargo trucks. About midnight last Saturday a herd of 20 elephants blocked route No.3259 (the Ban Nong Kog-Ban Wang Nam Phon road) holding up 10 trucks, Yoo Senatham said.
They tipped some vehicles on their side, spilling the cargoes on the road so their young could eat, and gorged on sugarcane and tapioca.
''This was not an isolated incident on this road,'' said Yoo Senatham. ''Recently a pregnant deer was hit and killed and last month a pick-up truck hit an elephant.''
These incidents prompted the sanctuary chief to ask provincial governor Arnont Promnart to close the 14.7km route through the park from 9pm to 5am to prevent further danger to travellers and wildlife.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Thai elephants to be shown in Australian zoo after animal rights furor

International Herald Tribume Asia Pacific
November 2nd 2006

SYDNEY, Autralia: Four Thai elephants will go on public display at Sydney's zoo for the first time Friday after an extended battle with animal rights activists who argued their captivity was cruel.

Protests and legal challenges by activists in both Thailand and Australia had delayed the transfer of the animals for more than 1 1/2 years. But despite protests in both Thailand and Australia, the four female elephants were flown into Sydney Airport on Thursday from Cocos Islands, a remote Australian territory in the Indian Ocean where they were kept in quarantine for three months

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Controversial Asian elephants jet into Sydney

November 02, 2006

EIGHT elephants which have been stranded overseas for more than two years have finally arrived in Sydney today.

After years of legal wrangling and repeated clashes with protesters the four female Asian elephants were due to arrive on a flight from the Cocos Islands at 11:30am today. The other four elephants will arrive in a couple of days.

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Elephants may get IDs, more protection

Elephants may get IDs, more protection
Janjira Pongrai
The Nation September 10, 2006

Public opinion will be sought on a proposed new law relating to elephants before a final revision of the draft bill is submitted for parliamentary consideration, the vice minister of the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry said yesterday

Noppadol Pattama said the bill, which the ministry has recently drafted, complies with and consolidates about 10 existing elephant-related acts and contains 17 key provisions to protect both wild and domestic elephants. These include controversial new regulations regarding the issue of elephant identification documents and the establishment of a DNA database of the animals.

Under the new law, the birth of a domestic elephant must be reported to the ministry within seven days for an elephant ID card to be issued. If an elephant dies, the owner must report the death to officials within 24 hours. The draft bill also states that a DNA database will be set up when such technology is available in the country. It has been more than a decade since the government and conservationists first tried to revise all elephant-related laws.

Soraida Salwala, secretary-general of the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation, was happy with the draft bill, saying it closes loopholes in the existing law that only requires elephant owners to register newborn animals within eight years and does not require them to report a death.She said eight years was long enough for anyone to hunt a wild elephant or falsify information, since it was difficult to check in many cases whether elephants were born in captivity or in the wild.

The bill also covers the process of importing and exporting elephants, as well as measures to provide welfare for the animals. Noppadol said the ministry was seeking comment from all parties, especially people who had businesses that utilise elephants.