Every year, park rangers make a pledge to the spirits of Khao Yai at a sacred ceremony in the forest. They promise not to hunt, kill or consume wild animals, and to protect the park from those that would.
Rangers also ask the spirits of Khao Yai to protect them from danger while on patrol. If any ranger was to break their promise to the spirits, it is said they will be cursed with a tragedy within 5-10 days that could also hurt others on the same patrol.
The spirits of Khao Yai are believed to have a connection with a community that settled in Dong Phayayen – Khao Yai and lived in harmony with the forest a long time ago.
FREELAND, which also trains Khao Yai’s rangers, is working with the village communities that live around the park today to help them develop a more sustainable relationship with the forest and provide real alternatives to poaching from the park.