Close Encounter with Wild Elephant

On Elephant Day (13/3), Thailand acknowledges the majestic and powerful animal that forms such an integral part of the national identity.

As long as it is protected, Khao Yai National Park is a safe home for many elephants. However, as these visitors to the park found, it’s important to respect wild elephants and allow them space.

The National Elephant Institute is a great place to find more information about the historic importance of elephants in Thailand, as well as current conservation issues. According to the Institute, loss of habitat combined with human pressures could push Thailand’s wild elephants to extinction within 50 years.

At the start of the last century, there were over 100,000 elephants in Thailand. The population is now estimated at just 3,000-4,000. Around half of these are domesticated, with the remainder living wild in national parks like Khao Yai.

Thai conservation groups including FREELAND and Friends of the Asian Elephant are working hard to prevent habitat loss and care for elephants. Please support their efforts.


2 thoughts on “Close Encounter with Wild Elephant

  1. This is actually a female elephant with small tusks or ‘Kanay’. Her nickname was Mere Kanay Hang San or the ‘Mother with Tusks and a short tail’.
    She is the matriarch of a group and is probably just trying to protect her group and any young.
    Advice to visitors to Khao Yai is keep your distance from the elephants, give them the right of way on the roads and if they move towards you back slowly.
    Never scream, shout, toot your horn or anything like that.

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