Connect with us

Northern Thailand

Massive elephant migration causes problems in the North

Jack Burton

Published 

 on 

Massive elephant migration causes problems in the North | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Hurriyet News
  • follow us in feedly

The Covid-19 crisis has shuttered elephant camps across Thailand’s North and Northeast, most of which relied primarily on tourist revenue. Now around 1,000 elephants, threatened by starvation, have journeyed through the hills of northern Thailand, making a slow migration to their homes.

For many of the animals, home is the village of Huay Pakoot in Chiang Mai province, where generations of ethnic Karen elephant handlers have been rearing the giant mammals for 400 years. But it is around the tourist hub in Chiang Mai City, 180 kilometres away, that mahouts and their elephants work, performing for foreigners in amusement parks or “elephant sanctuaries”.

Some of the camps allegedly employed abusive methods to “break” and train the elephants, who earned their keep entertaining busloads of tourists. But as the pandemic paralysed global travel and closed many of the parks in mid-March, some 3,000 of these elephants have been unemployed. Many, at risk of starvation, have been brought home.

35 year old Chaiyaporn, a mahout of 15 years told AFP that the elephants seemed happy to be home.

“They are tired but rather happy. They have a very good memory. It seems that after years of absence they know they are finally coming home.”

About 1,000 elephants and their mahouts have returned to their villages in the past 2 months, according to the president of the Thai Elephant Alliance Association.

“Such a big migration over such a short period of time is unprecedented in this country.”

But the homecoming is not without problems. Huay Pakoot usually has fewer than 10 elephants: now more than 90 are living alongside 400 villagers. The forests surrounding the village have been cleared to grow corn, and there’s nothing to support the needs of such a large herd. Although some sleep behind homes, most of them stay in the forest at night, watched over by their mahouts. But sometimes they escape and roam around farm property, risking harm from people defending their crops.

Conflicts between territorial elephants have also already been reported, with at least 2 injured in a fight. And for mahouts who made the long journey home to avoid starvation themselves, finding up to 300 kilograms of plants for each elephant, their average daily diet, is a challenge, to say the least.

Buying sufficient feed instead can cost around 500 baht daily ($15), acccording to 19 year old mahout Jirayu, out of reach for many mahouts.

“More grass, bananas, and sugarcane” crops will have to be planted if the outbreak goes on much longer.”

There is also concern that desperate mahouts might turn to the illegal logging industry, which operates around the Thai-Myanmar border.

SOURCE AFP

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Severin michel

    Friday, June 12, 2020 at 12:50 pm

    Always good articles from Jack

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in North East Thailand. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

4 top tourist destinations to be prioritised for Covid-19 vaccine distribution

Maya Taylor

Published

on

4 top tourist destinations to be prioritised for Covid-19 vaccine distribution | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration says 4 of Thailand’s major tourism destinations are to be prioritised in the distribution of vaccines. They are Phuket, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai and Surat Thani. In addition, a further 9 provinces with significant infection numbers are being prioritised in the rollout of the first vaccine doses arriving in the Kingdom today.

Taweesin Visanuyothin from the CCSA says 70,000 doses will go to the hard-hit “highest control” area of Samut Sakhon, where Thailand’s second outbreak began late last year. 8,000 doses are being set aside for medical officials in the central province, along with 6,000 for frontline healthcare workers, 46,000 doses for seriously ill patients, and 10,000 doses for migrant workers and local residents.

Another 105,000 doses will be distributed to similar groups in Bangkok, in the central provinces of Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Songkram and Samut Prakan, and in the western province of Ratchaburi and the Mae Sot district of Tak.

The Pattaya News reports that 14,700 doses will be sent to 4 major tourist destinations, with 4,700 going to the eastern province of Chon Buri, 4,000 to the southern island of Phuket, 3,500 to the northern province of Chiang Mai, and 2,500 going to the island of Samui in the southern province of Surat Thani.

In the case of the vaccines going to tourism spots, it is not yet known which groups will be vaccinated first, with that decision being left to the Provincial Communicable Disease Committee and other related authorities.

Meanwhile, the CCSA says other plans for the 4 tourism destinations are being considered, including the possibility of “area quarantine”, which would allow vaccinated foreign arrivals to remain within certain boundaries during their quarantine period. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has been pushing for a vaccine passport policy for vaccinated visitors, while PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says the government may consider lifting quarantine restrictions for vaccinated tourists.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Thailand

UPDATE: Thailand Covid zones and your restrictions

The Thaiger

Published

on

UPDATE: Thailand Covid zones and your restrictions | The Thaiger

Which of the five coloured zones are you living in? A green zone? Red zone? Pale red zone? hat’s the difference and what’s open and what’s not? If you’re not in Samut Sakhon, the coastal province just south west of Bangkok, then some of the restrictions imposed by the CCSA have recently been lifted. Here’s a quick look at what’s open and what restrictions remain as of Friday, January 29. (Some local provincial exceptions will apply)

UPDATE: Thailand Covid zones and your restrictions | News by The Thaiger

According to the list there’s a Red Zone for Samut Sakhon, called a Maximum Controlled and Restricted Area, and then the light Red Zone, called a Maximum Controlled Area. Previous Red Zones – Rayong, Chon Buri (including Pattaya) and Chanthaburi – have been downgraded to Orange Zones, aka. Controlled Area. Trat, previously a Red Zone, has disappeared off the map! (An omission – we understand Trat is now an Orange Zone).

UPDATE: Thailand Covid zones and your restrictions | News by The Thaiger

In Samut Sakhon, the epicentre of the latest outbreak around the seafood markets and coastal fishing ports, has the maximum current restrictions. Restaurants can currently stay open only until 9pm at the moment, markets and hotels are still allowed to open.

UPDATE: Thailand Covid zones and your restrictions | News by The Thaiger

The ‘pale’ Red Zone includes Bangkok and now allows restaurants to stay open until 11pm but the serving of alcohol is still banned. Bars and karaoke bars are still required to remain closed. As is the ‘bull and cock-fighting rings’. Shopping Centres are being asked not to conduct promotional activities that would draw large crowds but are otherwise still open. The city’s schools are all open although some private institutions have decided to remain closed – check with your school to confirm. Gyms and boxing gyms are allowed to re-open.

UPDATE: Thailand Covid zones and your restrictions | News by The Thaiger

The Orange Zone includes Pattaya which now permits restaurants and bars to re-open until 11pm, including the serving of alcohol, but no dancing (damn!). Shopping Centres can open as per usual and residents in the Orange Zones are now allowed to travel across provincial borders again unhindered. All this will allow some of Pattaya’s entertainment establishments a sigh of relief as they were relying heavily on some weekend traffic from Bangkok to keep the wheels turning until the tourists are allowed back into the country.

The other 3 popular tourist zones of Chiang Mai, Krabi and Phuket have been in the Green Zone throughout the current month of restrictions and can operate much as they were before December last year. But domestic airlines have slashed their flights to these areas and the few flights remaining are asking higher fares than the pre-second wave prices.

Some of the provinces will still require you to carry the Mor Chana app on your phone and other provinces, eg. Phuket, have their bespoke websites to register where you are staying. If you don’t have a mobile phone the local officials usually just check you ID and ask a few questions about where you’ve been and get contact details if they need to get hold of you.

Of course, despite the latest list of eased restrictions and changes in the colour zoning, there will be some local variances and enforcement. Local provincial governments have been given the power to add additional restrictions in some cases.

GRAPHICS: Thai PBS World

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Air Pollution

Air pollution reaches “unhealthy” levels in Thailand’s north and northeast

The Thaiger

Published

on

Air pollution reaches “unhealthy” levels in Thailand’s north and northeast | The Thaiger

18 provinces in Thailand’s north and northeast are being hit by a wave of smoke and air pollution as the burning season kicks in for the country’s agricultural sector. The next 2 months are the peak of the burning off season for agricultural waste as farmers prepare their land for the next crops of corn, rice and sugar and use the fires to aid the harvest of some of their crops.

With sugar cane plantations, for example, farmers choose to burn the leaves off the plant, exposing the stalks, before harvesting the profit-making stalks, saving time and money. There are mechanical ways to achieve the same result but the farmers, pushed to slender profit margins by the multinational food companies, are unable to invest and amortise the additional costs.

The levels of PM 25 micron particulate, a measure of the smoke and haze, has been at “unhealthy” levels in Chiang Rai, Phrae, Sukhothai, Phitsanulok, Tak, Phetchabun, Phayao, Nan, Chiang Mai, Lampang, Khon Kaen, Roi Et, Chaiyaphum, Ubon Ratchathani, Saraburi, Nong Khai, Nakhon Phanom and Nakhon Ratchasima.

The Pollution Control Department are now openly admitting that the major cause of the seasonal smoke is “open burning by farmers who are preparing their land”, according to the Bangkok Post. On Monday the Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan issued orders to prevent farmers from starting the plantation fires. You can check the result of his orders in the fire map below.

Air pollution reaches

iqair.com measures the average level of PM2.5 dust in the North at between 35-85 micrograms per cubic metre (μg/m³) yesterday, considered “unhealthy”. In the Northeast, the levels ranged between 40-99μg/m³.

The Thai Pollution Control Department considers PM2.5 readings below 50μg/m³ as “safe” but the Thai standard is twice as high as what is considered safe by the World Health Organisation.

firms.modaps, the NASA satellite fire tracking service, shows the number of fires currently alight around Thailand and the concentrations in the north and north east. The fires in northern Cambodia and north east Myanmar are also contributing to the Thailand’s smog and haze, depending on which way the winds are blowing. During this time of the year, the winds are predominantly north east and light across much of Thailand. The firms.modaps feed is live, registering the fires alight at the time the screen capture was taken.

Air pollution reaches

Bangkok starts off Wednesday with relatively better air quality than the past few weeks.

Air pollution reaches

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading
Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO | The Thaiger
Tourism3 days ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 days ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO | The Thaiger
Tourism4 days ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Thailand News Today | 305 infections, No happy ending for massages, Phuket quarantine mooted | Jan 7 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | 305 infections, No happy ending for massages, Phuket quarantine mooted | Jan 7

Thailand News Today | 10,000 schools closed, 900 new migrant infections, Gambling crackdown | January 6 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | 10,000 schools closed, 900 new migrant infections, Gambling crackdown | January 6

Thailand News Today | PM reverses lockdown, Southern P.D.A. crackdown, Covid update | Jan 5 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | PM reverses lockdown, Southern P.D.A. crackdown, Covid update | Jan 5

Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending