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On Boxing Day the skies will go dark across Thailand – solar eclipse

Maya Taylor

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On Boxing Day the skies will go dark across Thailand – solar eclipse | The Thaiger
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The skies will go dark in Thailand around midday on Boxing Day. The sun will partly vanish and a ghostly pall will shadow the Kingdom. But it’s all good. It’s a solar eclipse, a completely natural phenomenon.

The Nation reports that viewing spots have been prepared in Chachoengsao province, east of Bangkok, in Chiang Mai province in the north, Nakhon Ratchasima in the north-east, and Songkhla province in southern Thailand. But you will able to experience the relatively rare phenomenon anywhere in a band from India and across south east Asia on the same day.

CAUTION: Looking at the sun directly and without proper equipment is dangerous and can cause blindness. Read more, along with some guidelines for viewing, HERE.

The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand is inviting over 400 schools that are members of its astronomy network to arrange for students to watch the phenomenon. The chosen locations are Princess Sirindhorn Astropark in Chiang Mai, the Chachoengsao Northeastern Regional Observatory, along with the Regional Observatory for the Public in Nakhon Ratchasima and in Songkhla. Entrance is free at each of the viewing sites. The skies will be darkest, as a result of the solar eclipse, at around 12.18pm.

On Boxing Day the skies will go dark across Thailand - solar eclipse | News by The Thaiger

Members of the institute along with other officials will be present at each location, providing assistance and viewing devices from 9am.

While Singapore, Sri Lanka, India and Indonesia will all enjoy a full solar eclipse, Thailand will experience a partial one, whereby the moon only partly obscures the sun. In Bangkok, the sun will be obscured by 56%, and by 40% in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Mai. However, Yala will witness the most impressive spectacle, with the moon set to eclipse 81% of the sun in the southern city.

If it’s a cloudy day you won’t be able to witness the moon’s shadow over the front of the sun but you will still notice that everything goes darker. The further south in Thailand, the darker it will get.

More information is available at timanddate.com

Interesting fact: A solar eclipse always occurs about two weeks before or after a lunar eclipse. Usually, there are two eclipses in a row, but other times, there are three during the same eclipse season.

On Boxing Day the skies will go dark across Thailand - solar eclipse | News by The Thaiger

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Thailand

Tigers and tiger body parts seized from Thai zoo investigated for alleged wildlife smuggling

Caitlin Ashworth

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Tigers and tiger body parts seized from Thai zoo investigated for alleged wildlife smuggling | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Esan Daily Online

In a crackdown on suspected wildlife trafficking, the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation seized 5 tigers from a private zoo in the Isaan province Mukdahan. DNA tests confirmed that at least 3 of the 5 tiger cubs are not related to the tigers in the Mudka Tiger Park & Farm, leading officials to believe the wildcats were smuggled in, according to DNP director general Prakit Wongsriwattanakul.

Thai media reports say that some of the tigers seized were not alive and photos of a severed tiger head apparently have been posted by various Thai news websites.

Apparently, this isn’t the first time the Mukda Tiger Park & Farm has been investigated. In January 2018, DNP officials seized protected species from the park including red pandas, grey-shanked douc monkeys and elongated tortoises.

Officials are conducting DNA tests on another 20 tigers and the results will be released by the end of the month. If found guilty of wildlife smuggling, the park owner could face up to 5 years in prison.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

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Thailand

Protected hornbill dies from gunshot wound, 2 suspects in police custody

Caitlin Ashworth

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Protected hornbill dies from gunshot wound, 2 suspects in police custody | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook: เผด็จ ศิริดำรง

A protected great hornbill died after 5 days of medical treatment for a severe gunshot wound. 2 suspects are now in police custody and officers have seized a .22 calibre rifle, according to Thai PBS.

A tourist found the injured bird near the Khiriphet waterfall on Koh Chang. The hornbill, known in Thai as a nok nguek, was treated at the Nuern Plub Wan animal hospital in Chon Buri. The great hornbill’s condition rapidly deteriorated and veterinarian Phadet Siriadmrong says the hornbill suffered brain stem death.

The great hornbill, Buceros Bicornis, is listed as a vulnerable species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. According to IUCN, hunting his substantial threat to the great hornbill.

Hunting poses a substantial threat to the species. Because of its predictable behaviour when regularly visiting the same feeding sites, it is easily targeted by local hunters.

Thailand’s Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act prohibits hunting preserved or protected wild animals. Those found guilty of violating the act could face up to 4 years in prison and a fine up 40,000 baht.

SOURCES: Thai PBS | Bangkok Post | IUCN

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Thailand

Rare sighting of an endangered clouded leopard at Isaan mountain range

Caitlin Ashworth

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Rare sighting of an endangered clouded leopard at Isaan mountain range | The Thaiger
Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation

An endangered clouded leopard was spotted at a mountain range in the Isaan province Si Sa Ket. The rare sighting, captured using a camera trap, was the first time in about 20 years the wildcat has been seen in the Phnom Dongrak mountain range which borders Cambodia.

Since the park rangers stepped up patrol against poaching and made efforts to increase food and water sources, more small predators like foxes, dholes and leopard cats have been returning to the area, according to director of a local conservation office Chaiwat Limlikhit-aksorn.

“Today in the Phanom Dong Rak Wildlife Sanctuary there is a clouded leopard, which is a medium sized predator.”

Camera traps were set up by local conservation officials from November 1 to 24, capturing footage of the rare clouded leopard. The cameras also filmed hog deer, Asiatic wild dogs, a Malaysian night heron and a leopard.

The clouded leopard is classified as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The organisation says the leopard is hunted for the illegal wildlife, adding that the leopard skins have been seen in market surveys along with bones used for medicines and meat for exotic dishes.

Clouded Leopard exploitation for pelts are well documented in several countries, including the infamous Tachilek market along the Thai–Myanmar border. The frequency of Clouded Leopard parts available at market indicates increased pressure from hunting…However, the trade of cat parts from Myanmar into Thailand has diminished and reaffirms the role of China in the trade of cats out of Myanmar.

Sightings of the clouded leopard have also been reported at the Kaeng Krachan National Park, Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary, Khao Sok National Park and Khao Yai National Park.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | IUCN| Thai PBS

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