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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