Former Thai deputy minister says ‘pandamonium’ not worth it, urges ‘elefant-astic’ focus on local treasures

Kanchana Silpa-archa, Image screenshot via chartthaipattana, TikTok.

The former Thai Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Education voiced her opposition to the idea of importing new pandas from China, citing high rental costs and a declining interest in pandas. Instead, she suggests, the focus should be on the increasingly popular Thai elephants.

Kanchana Silpa-archa, advisor and head of the Thai Nation Development Party, yesterday posted a message regarding the circulating news of Thailand requesting new pandas from China to replace the late Chuang Chuang.

“I heard we are going to request more pandas. I must say, it’s better to let them live in China. I love pandas, I love all animals, and Lin Ping was one of my first inspirations in terms of animals. When we love something, we must love to see their happiness first, not ours.

“In the past, our panda team has taken excellent care of Chuang Chuang and Lin Ping but the conditions here are limited. In China, they have parks where every animal can walk freely in nature. We don’t have that. They only have air-conditioned rooms and can only come out during the short winter, perhaps only one to two hours a day for a few days. The cost of renting pandas is also very high, and the panda trend is no longer strong. The trend of Thai elephants, on the other hand, is strong.

“Let me tell you, it would be better to use the budget to help create food sources for animals, especially wild animals, which will face severe drought next year. I don’t know if anyone will listen to us. If anyone agrees, please help us make this voice heard.”

Aside from her political work, Kanchana, also known as Nuna, is fervently involved in the conservation of Thai elephants. She played a significant role in bringing back Ploy Sak Sin Suriyothai, a Thai elephant who served as a diplomatic gift in Sri Lanka, to her homeland, reports Sanook.

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Samantha Rose

Samantha was a successful freelance journalist who worked with international news organizations before joining Thaiger. With a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from London, her global perspective on news and current affairs is influenced by her days in London, Singapore, and Bangkok. She now uncovers general stories related to Thailand.