BANGKOK – Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) has expedited its efforts to better protect Thai elephants nationwide, while preparing to amend domestic law for a total ban on the domestic trade of elephants and related products.
DNP Deputy Chief Theerapat Prayulasidhi made his statement following reports of wild elephants leaving their jungle habitat to search for food in villagers’ farmland.
He said his department is attempting to reduce conflicts between wild elephants and people in areas at risk, particularly Kui Buri, Kangkrajan and Khao Ang Rue Nai national parks.
Working teams have been set up to caution local residents, as well as protect and drive the elephants back into the forest, at the same time, the availability of food and water sources for them must be increased.
Mr Theerapat said the DNP is also set to control the illegal trade of elephants and ivory products as 26 illegal elephants were reportedly seized by state authorities in August. The department also seeks to introduce relevant acts to efficiently protect elephant populations in Thailand.
Currently, some 3,500 elephants reportedly live in 68 protected forests, covering an area of 52,000 square kilometres or 30 per cent of the total protected forest nationwide, while about 3,000 elephants are sheltered in elephant camps.