Connect with us

Opinion

Opinion: Protecting the Kingdom’s gentle giants

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

PHUKET: Recent damage to three vehicles by a couple of needle-shy elephants in Phuket is unfortunate (story here and here), but the incidents give cause to reflect on the state of elephants in Thailand.

Not only is the elephant Thailand’s ‘national animal’, it also featured on Siamese flags for almost 100 years before the creation of the modern Thai State.

Rough estimates put the number of captive elephants at about 3,000, with an estimated 2,000 more living in the wild.

By their very nature, elephants should be the easiest of animals to keep tabs on. Until quite recently, however, there was no nationwide effort to keep a comprehensive database of all elephants living in captivity here.

The current government deserves credit for the effort to get DNA samples for all domestic elephants to create a ‘parenthood tree’ that could put an end to transnational elephant smuggling, as well as the capture of young elephants in the wild to serve in the tourist trade.

Whether or not the tourism industry should be allowed to use elephants is debatable. In a perfect world, stable populations of humans and wild elephants could sustainably co-exist.

Given the human population explosion and subsequent habitat destruction, keeping as many of these remarkable animals alive as possible is probably the most realistic strategy for their long-term survival.
Thai law stipulates that only calves born to captive mothers can be kept legally.

According to some estimates, the Department of National Parks has already taken DNA samples from more than 90 per cent of captive elephants, which means that before long, virtually all young captive elephants can be accounted for, at least theoretically. The next step should be to ‘confiscate’ illegal elephants and find new homes for them.

This will not be easy since elephants are famously ‘high maintenance’ creatures. The government plans to establish new sanctuaries and enact new legislation allowing qualified NGOs and other private organizations to play a role in this effort.

The long-term goal should focus on preserving what remains of their natural jungle habitats. Failure to do so would be just as perilous for us as it would be for them.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

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

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Drugs4 hours ago

Police nab 600kg heroin drug bust, year’s biggest in Northeast

Koh Samui8 hours ago

Koh Samui unaccustomed to Covid-19, many act in dismay

Thailand10 hours ago

Bangkok Airways extends flight suspension to August 11

Sponsored2 days ago

Experience Phuket’s Islands with 5 Star Marine

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand10 hours ago

7 Jomtien Beach curfew breakers arrested

Thailand11 hours ago

Buri Ram pig stable converted into gambling den: 22 arrests follow

Thailand12 hours ago

“Fake news” banned, Thai media say order infringes on freedoms

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Phuket12 hours ago

Precarious Phuket: open internationally, closed domestically

Best of12 hours ago

Top 5 tattoo parlours Bangkok

World13 hours ago

Duterte approves lockdown measures for Manila

Best of13 hours ago

The Best Pizza in Bangkok with Delivery

Thailand13 hours ago

Thailand News Today | worker camp woes, ‘fake news’ crackdown | July 30

Best of13 hours ago

Best Premium Hotel Buffets in Bangkok

Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

CCSA considers extending restrictions in “dark red” zones for another 14 days

Thailand14 hours ago

Fake dead bodies used in Phuket protest, police plan real investigation

Best of14 hours ago

Top 5 adventure tours in Chiang Mai

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Trending