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Baby elephant taken for tourist trade as mother shot in Thailand

20/03/2013 23:32:53
March 2013. A baby elephant was taken and its pregnant mother killed in a Thailand national park, as the tourist industry continues to deplete the country's declining elephant population.

Incidents like this one, in the Petchaburi area, are not uncommon, with adult elephants being killed and the young taken. The baby is most likely destined for one of Thailand's many resorts where tourists can take part in elephant treks or watch elephants performing.

Philip Mansbridge, CEO of Care for the Wild, which runs the animal-tourist website, said: "It is both tragic and ironic that this trade continues under the noses of the CITES conference in Bangkok. The world has gathered in a bid to protect animals, and the Thai Prime Minister opened the conference by saying that no country respects elephants more than Thailand - and yet Thailand's tourist trade has taken yet another victim.

Elephants and dolphins taken from the wild
"Tourists visiting Thailand need to start thinking about where the elephant they are riding, or watching ride a bicycle, has come from. Just like anyone visiting a dolphinarium needs to think about where those dolphins came from, we need to wake up to the fact that to feed the tourist trade, animals are being plucked from the wild - and many more killed."

One baby elephant is reported to be worth US$40,000 to an elephant camp. The elephant would then be 'trained' using the brutal Phajaan method, which effectively breaks the elephant to ensure it is safe to be around tourists.

Illegal exports of live elephants
Edwin Wiek, of the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT), says that elephants are also supplied by Thailand to China and Australia. Chinese and Japanese resorts are also supplied with elephants from Thailand that have been illegally transferred to Laos, with an estimated 38 going to China alone this year.

Fewer than 2,400 wild elephants left in Thailand
It is estimated that there are now fewer than 2,400 wild elephants left in the wild in Thailand, with similar numbers in captivity.

Philip Mansbridge said: "We've got a choice to make. Do we want to see animals in zoos, or in the wild? Because with some species like elephants, tigers, rhinos and even lions, it's starting to get to the point where we won't have a choice - we'll only be able to see them in captivity. And that's going to be a very sad world to live in."

Read the comments about this article and leave your own comment

Perhaps you should start with your own country not to open Zoo

Stating the fact that animals no doubt should be placed back to the wild.
If all countries do not cut down trees to build building structure, do you still think that animals still be able to survive out in the wild?.
let's face the fact. Money makes human beings Greed. please do not tell me if you see US $1 & US $100 on the floor, which do you pick?

if you able to convince your country not to open Zoo for tourist as a start, then most countries will follow suit.

Posted by: steve | 14 May 2013 17:58:51


these asian countries have always shown scany regard for the cruelty they inflict on any animal species. and again on human animal species ! they seem devoid of feelings and immune to the pain and suffering they inflict with no sense of remorse. the shame is that countries like ours and doubltless others, send millions to china, india, japan, etc to sustain what must be the most vile people on the planet overall. unfortunately people support this treatment of animals by buying goods from these countries. and at times it seems impossible to avoid doing so. cameras, electronics, clothing all appear in our shops. i do my best to avoid buying these, but an uphill task. shame on them all, but they dont recognise shame.

Posted by: dee donworth | 24 Mar 2013 13:12:58

8,000 die due to China's smog

Think long & hard on this China - I saw on TV that about 8,000 people have died due to the smog in China, particles get in their lungs even when they wear masks - perhaps it's earth's way of repaying you for all the elephants you've had and still have killed to get your hands on ivory - remember, for each one of your people that die from smog, an elephant has suffered a long, slow and agonising death of suffocation from having its trunk cut off and thrown aside on the ground by the poachers so you can get your hands on ivory to carve trinkets, jewellery, car decorations, name-stamps etc. Me, I say, BREATHE IN DEEP CHINA!

Posted by: Lindsay Rooken-Smith Jenions | 22 Mar 2013 21:05:23

Thailand, China/Asia - Elephant depletion

It's what these people do best & have proven to do best - cruelty & suffering to animals to satisfy their greedy, selfish, inconsiderate needs. Be sure I will not spend any of my money to see their countries & refuse point blank to spend a cent of my money on eating any of their food. These people are the 'takers' of this world, they've no conscience.

Posted by: Lindsay Rooken-Smith Jenions | 22 Mar 2013 20:39:07

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