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Every elephant camp wants a baby elephant to show to its tourist customers and national parks chiefs have been warned that wild baby elephants are being targeted by camp owners.
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A friendly baby elephant, who is the star of an elephant camp in chiang Rai, plays with a tourist. PHOTOS BY NARISA LEELATHAWORNPANYA
Baby elephant watch
Baby elephants are cute and friendly with people – once they get used to them. They can be trained to dance, write and draw pictures. Thus, it’s not surprising that every elephant camp catering to Thailand’s tourist industry wants one.
It appears that some camp owners will do just about anything to get a baby elephant, including hiring poachers to snatch wild baby elephants from national parks.
The National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department has therefore urged national park chiefs nationwide to keep a close watch on young wild elephants.
The department yesterday held a meeting with about 100 national park chiefs to brief them on the threat following the rescue last week by department officials of a 5-year-old elephant from a group of Karen poachers in Ratchaburi's Pachi River Wildlife Sanctuary.
Damrong Pidech, chief of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, last week paid a visit to a five-year-old elephant that was confiscated from a group of Karen poachers. PATTANAPONG HIRUNARD
Damrong Pidech, director-general of the department, said he had information that elephant poachers were taking young elephants to sell to owners of elephant farms in what he termed a trading hotspot located close to the Salakpra Wildlife Sanctuary Park in Kanchanaburi.
Mr Damrong will take his officials and reporters to visit the spot today.
"Salakpra Wildlife Sanctuary Park is the nearest wildlife trading hotspot, especially for young elephants living in both Myanmar and Thailand.
"We need to study carefully the wildlife smuggling network there in a bid to find solutions to the problem," he said.
Mr Damrong said after the young elephants are sold to traders in Kanchanaburi, the animals are sent to a training school in Chon Buri province.
"It's the baby elephants that draw the biggest crowds, which is why they are in so much demand by elephant traders and why we see so many at elephant farms.
"Where do they all come from? It is impossible that all of them were raised on the farms," he said.
Adapted from a story in todays’ Bangkok Post by Apinya Wipatayotin. You can read the full story here: http://bit.ly/xoE1fW
cute – pretty and attractive น่ารัก
get used to – to become familiar with something so that it no longer seems new or strange to you ชิน
cater to – to try to satisfy a need จัดหามาเพื่อคนใดคนหนึ่งหรือคนกลุ่มหนึ่ง
hire – to pay someone to work for you, especially for a short time จ้าง
appear – to seem ดูเหมือนจะ, ดูเหมือนว่า
poacher – a person who illegally catches or kills an animal, bird, or fish on someone else’s property ผู้รุกล้ำ, ผู้บุกรุกล่าสัตว์หรือจับปลา
snatch – to take or get something quickly คว้า
Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation – an agency of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (Thailand) กรมอุทยานแห่งชาติ สัตว์ป่า และพันธุ์พืช
urge – to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take ผลักดัน, กระตุ้น
nationwide – throughout a whole country ทั่วทั้งประเทศ
brief – to give someone instructions or information แจ้งให้ทราบ, รายงาน, สรุป
threat – a danger อันตราย
rescue – saving a person or animal from a dangerous or unpleasant situation การช่วยชีวิต
wildlife sanctuary – a place where birds or animals can live and be protected, especially from hunters or dangerous conditions เขตสงวนพันธุ์สัตว์ป่า
confiscate – to take away ยึด
term – to use a particular name or word to describe somebody/something ตั้งชื่อ, เรียกชื่อ
hotspot – a place where there is a lot of activity
located – where something is ตั้งอยู่
reporter – someone whose job is to write articles or make broadcasts about events in the news ผู้สื่อข่าว, นักข่าว
smuggling – secretly and illegally taking goods or people into or out of a country ลักลอบขนสินค้าหรือคนหรือสัตว์เข้าและออกจากประเทศอย่างผิดกฎหมาย
network – a large system of connected parts, organisations, people, etc. เครือข่าย
bid – an attempt to do something ความพยายาม
solution – a way of solving a problem or dealing with a difficult situation วิธีแก้ปัญหา
draw – to attract or interest somebody ดึงดูดความสนใจ
demand – the amount of a product or service that people want ความต้องการ
raise – to take care of children or young animals while they are growing up เลี้ยงดู