CHIANGRAI TIMES – The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment prepared to organize the National Thai Elephant Day celebration on February 3-5 in northern Lampang province, National News Bureau of Thailand reported Thursday.
The event is aimed at raising public awareness of the elephant conservation and informing people of the importance of elephants in Thai history, according to Natural Resources and Environm ent Minister Preecha Rengsomboonsuk.
In spite of having protection in Thailand elephant numbers have vastly declined over the past 100 years. Back then there were believed to be in the region of 100,00 animals. Today there are only around 3-4 thousand, most of which are being held in captivity.
The captive animals breed well and are adding to the eventual problem of where are they all going to go.
National Thai Elephant Day will draw the public’s attention to elephants wherever they are, be it in training camp, zoo, rescue centre or wild in the forest. In some establishments the elephants get a day off whilst in others they put on special shows for visitors.
Visitors to Thailand cannot fail to appreciate how much is thought about Elephants even if they never see one in the flesh. Elephant’s statues are abundant and they appear on stamps, clothing, carvings and so much more.
Until fairly recently there was a Royal Elephant Stable in Bangkok. It has been renovated and now is the interesting Elephant Museum. The Museum, like any establishment in Thailand will draw its visitor’s attention to the National Thai Elephant Day.
There is not an International Elephant Day but there is an International Elephant Appreciation Day which takes each year and has been doing so since 1996. It is a pity that more zoos do not promote this day to visitors to draw attention to the plight that elephants are facing, wherever they occur in the wild.
This, along with National Thai Elephant Day would do much to educate people about elephants because people do care about them.
An elephant ‘drive’ at sunrise. A dip in the river. Treks through bamboo groves and rice paddy. A rare glimpse at life in a traditional mahout’s village. The Elephant Camp at Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa is designed along the lines of the traditional mahout’s villages found in the hills of Northern Thailand in the days when logging employed the majority of Thailand’s elephants.
The Royal Thai Government, with Royal support, set up the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre (TECC) to act as a central body for the conservation of elephants, both domestic and wild and the communities that depend on them for their livelihood. Anantara Golden Triangle is proud to host the Northern extension of the Centre’s activities.
A true highlight of the Anantara Experience at Anantara Golden Triangle, our Elephant Camp and its resident cast of jumbo beauties offers our guests a rare opportunity to get up close and personal with these gentle giants. Some of the activities on offer include:
A skilled mahout can guide his elephant through its working day with around 70 soft commands, light touches behind the ear and years of understanding between the elephant and his master. But did you know that anyone can drive an elephant? A short half-hour lesson will teach you the basic commands and actions, give you the thrill of riding on the neck of this magnificent beast and having it respond to your commands.
A trek through our forest will include many habitat types from thick bamboo to riverine flood plain and an ideal chance to see the birds and small mammals that inhabit the area.
During the hot weather, elephants love nothing more than to take to the water. Bathing is fun to watch and even more fun to take part in! Take a pair of sandals and some short trousers down to the Ruak River or the bathing pool, help the mahout and really get to know our elephants.
Forest Living Skills
Ask the mahouts to share their knowledge of edible herbs and jungle medicines for human and elephant. And learn the best places to search for the insects that spice up the diet of the mahout!
To learn more about the conservation efforts of The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, please visit: http://www.helpingelephants.org/home.html