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Thai elephant day

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With only 3,700 wild & 4,000 captive elephants (2,300 in 135 elephant parks) in the country, this vital part of Thai heritage urgently needs protection. 

elephant day

Tourists watch a traditional water pouring ceremony and a feast organised for elephants at a village near Chiang Rai yesterday to mark Thai Elephant Day yesterday (Photo: Theerawat Khamthita).

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WILDLIFE

State agencies vow better safety for jumbos

14/03/2012
Apinya Wipatayotin

State agencies have pledged to boost the protection of elephants which are faced with threats ranging from poaching to maltreatment.

Damrong Pidech, chief of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, yesterday said the department backed plans to amend regulations on issuing ID cards to captive elephants to make it an effective tool to prevent poaching.

Mr Damrong was speaking at a seminar to mark Thai Elephant Day yesterday.

Under current regulations, an ID card is issued to a captive elephant when it is eight years old. However, Mr Damrong said the ID cards should be issued to a calf as young as three months.

This would make it easier for authorities to discern baby elephants born in captivity from those that had been taken from the wild, he said.

The department estimates there are about 4,000 captive elephants and 3,700 wild elephants in the country. Wild elephants live in 61 national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.

The western forest complex in Kanchanaburi and Tak provinces has the largest population of wild elephants, or about 900 of them.

Mr Damrong said he would ask local authorities to inspect elephant parks nationwide to see if the owners possess the jumbos legally.

There are a total of 135 elephant parks countrywide with about 2,300 elephants.

Rungsarit Jitdee, chief of the Interior Ministry's general registration division, said the ministry was working on the amendment of the obsolete Animals for Transportation Act on the issue of elephant IDs.

Under the draft amendment, the owner of an elephant must ask for its ID within 60 days from its birth. Penalties will be harsher with violators of the law on IDs facing not less than six months in jail and/or a 2,000-10,000 baht fine.

Under the current law, violators face only a 50-100 baht fine and/or a maximum one-month jail term.

Mattana Srikrachang, senior biologist of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, said she was concerned about the genetic development of Thai elephants as there has been inbreeding due to a shrinking habitat.

In the past, the problem was not so serious as elephants in Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Malaysia could cross the borders. But aggressive development along the borders, especially along that between Thailand and Myanmar had obstructed elephant movements between the two countries, she said.

Taweepoke Angkawanish, director of the National Elephant Institute's Elephant Hospital, said not only wild elephants were at risk, but also captive elephants, many of which suffered maltreatment. A number of captive jumbos have been injured during training sessions at private shelters, he said.

Meanwhile, veterinarians rescued a three-year-old elephant suffering from diarrhoea on Monday night after it gorged itself on chemical-coated grass in Samut Prakan's Muang district.

Veterinarian Alongkorn Mahannop suspected it had ingested a toxic substance and administered saline solution and a drug to stimulate blood circulation.

The elephant recovered after 30 minutes and was able to eat.

(Source: Bangkok, WILDLIFE, State agencies vow better safety for jumbos, 14/03/2012, Apinya Wipatayotin, link

Wildlife Vocabulary

captive -  ที่ไม่สามารถหนีได้
captive elephants - elephants living in a zoo or elephant park or used to beg money off of tourists (as in the past)

wild
- living in the jungle ซึ่งอยู่ในป่า,  ซึ่งมาจากป่า,ไม่เชื่อง,  ดุร้าย
wild elephants -
elephants living in the jungle 
jumbos - large elephants

born in captivity - born in a zoo or elephant park (not the jungle)
wildlife - animals living in the jungle
wildlife sanctuaries - areas of forest where wild animals can live safely

traditional - things (clothes, music, customs, etc.) that have been part of a country or society for a long time
mark - to show respect for or commemorate celebrate something ฉลอง เป็นเครืองแสดง

Tourists watch a traditional water pouring ceremony and a feast organised for elephants near Chiang Rai yesterday to mark Thai Elephant Day yesterday

vow - a serious promise สาบาน

State agencies vow better safety for jumbos

pledged - seriously promised to do something สาบาน
boost - to increase; to strengthen เพิ่ม; ทำให้มีกำลังมากขึ้น
poach - to illegally catch or kill an animal
mal - bad
maltreatment - bad treatment; doing bad things to some person or animal
suffered maltreatment  

State agencies have pledged to boost the protection of elephants which are faced with threats ranging from poaching to maltreatment.

backed - supported ให้การสนับสนุน
backed plans - supported plans
amend - to make changes to a document, law, agreement, etc. especially in order to improve it การแก้ไขกฎหมาย
regulations - official rules that control the way that things are done ระเบียบปฏิบัติ ระเบียบ ข้อบังคับ
amend regulations - change the regulations and rules
issuing
- officially giving something to people ออกคำสั่ง
ID cards  
issuing ID cards  
effective
- works well, gets the job done; producing the result that was intended ได้ผลดี
effective tool - a tool that gets the job done

Damrong Pidech, chief of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, yesterday said the department backed plans to amend regulations on issuing ID cards to captive elephants to make it an effective tool to prevent poaching. Mr Damrong was speaking at a seminar to mark Thai Elephant Day yesterday.

current - of the present time ปัจจุบันs
current regulations
issued - made available ออกใหม่
ID card issued to an elephant
calf - a large baby animal (elephant, cow, etc)

Under current regulations, an ID card is issued to a captive elephant when it is eight years old. However, Mr Damrong said the ID cards should be issued to a calf as young as three months.

authorities - government officials; the police or people in official organisations who have the legal power to make people obey laws or rules เจ้าหน้าที่ (ตำรวจ หรือผู้มีอำนาจ)
discern X from Y - be able to tell the difference between X and Y

This would make it easier for authorities to discern baby elephants born in captivity from those that had been taken from the wild, he said.

estimates - guesses of what the size, value, amount, cost, etc. of something might be การประมาณค่า
national parks - large parks run by the government

The department estimates there are about 4,000 captive elephants and 3,700 wild elephants in the country. Wild elephants live in 61 national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.

complex - an area that has several parts
western forest complex
population
- all the humans (or here animals or even plants) of a particular type or group who live in one country, area or place กลุ่มพืชและสัตว์ที่อาศัยอยู่ในบริเวณหนึ่ง

The western forest complex in Kanchanaburi and Tak provinces has the largest population of wild elephants, or about 900 of them.

local - in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about ท้องถิ่น
local authorities
inspect
- to look at something carefully ตรวจสอบ
nationwide - throughout a whole country ทั่วทั้งประเทศ
possess - to have or own something ครอบครอง, ถือครอง
legally possess - have something legally (have all the necessary documents)

Mr Damrong said he would ask local authorities to inspect elephant parks nationwide to see if the owners possess the jumbos legally. There are a total of 135 elephant parks countrywide with about 2,300 elephants.

registration - recording in an official list
registration division - the government department that does registration
ministry
- a government department dealing with an area of activity กระทรวง
amendment - change in a law
obsolete
- not in use any more, having been replaced by something newer and better ล้าสมัย หมดยุคไปแล้ว
issue - matter; a subject that people discuss or argue about ประเด็น

Rungsarit Jitdee, chief of the Interior Ministry's general registration division, said the ministry was working on the amendment of the obsolete Animals for Transportation Act on the issue of elephant IDs.

draft - not in a final form and likely to be changed ร่าง
draft amendment - a change to a law not in its final form (likely to be changed)
penalties - punishment for breaking the law
harsh - very severe and hard on people
fine - when a person pays money as punishment for breaking the law
maximum - the most possible ที่สูงสุด ที่มากที่สุด
maximum one-month jail term.

Under the draft amendment, the owner of an elephant must ask for its ID within 60 days from its birth. Penalties will be harsher with violators of the law on IDs facing not less than six months in jail and/or a 2,000-10,000 baht fine. Under the current law, violators face only a 50-100 baht fine and/or a maximum one-month jail term.

concerned - worried about something มีความกังวล
genetic - dealing with the genes and common characteristics that are passed from parent to child ทางพันธุกรรม
development - the gradual growth and formation of something
habitat - the type of place that a particular animal usually lives in or a particular plant usually grows in ถิ่นที่อยู่ของพืชหรือสัตว์

Mattana Srikrachang, senior biologist of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, said she was concerned about the genetic development of Thai elephants as there has been inbreeding due to a shrinking habitat.

aggressive - done with great energy and intensity; forceful, determined, and eager to succeed ก้าวร้าว ซึ่งมีความมั่นใจสูง (See glossary)
aggressive development along the borders
obstructed movements - not able to move from one place to another place
obstructed movements between the two countries

In the past, the problem was not so serious as elephants in Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Malaysia could cross the borders. But aggressive development along the borders, especially along that between Thailand and Myanmar had obstructed elephant movements between the two countries, she said.

risk - danger, how likely or possible it is for a bad event that causes harm and damage ความเสี่ยง เสี่ยงอันตราย
at risk - in a dangerous situation (in which something bad might happen)
training - to teach people how to do an activity or job การฝึกฝน
training sessions
animal shelter
- a place where animals without a home or owner can stay
private shelters - a privately owned animal shelter

Taweepoke Angkawanish, director of the National Elephant Institute's Elephant Hospital, said not only wild elephants were at risk, but also captive elephants, many of which suffered maltreatment. A number of captive jumbos have been injured during training sessions at private shelters, he said.

veterinarians -
animal doctors
suffering - physical or mental pain or problems ความทุกข์ทรมาน

Meanwhile, veterinarians rescued a three-year-old elephant suffering from diarrhoea on Monday night after it gorged itself on chemical-coated grass in Samut Prakan's Muang district.

suspected - thought to be something; people believe that they might have done something wrong, but not yet proven เป็นที่สงสัย
toxic - poisonous and harmful to people, animals or the environment เป็นพิษ
toxic substance - a poisonous substance
ingest toxic substance
- take or eat a poisonous substance
saline solution -
a salt solution (Na Cl) given to people or animals when they have an imbalance of this chemical sin their blood
stimulate - cause increased activity; act so as to increase activity กระตุ้น (See glossary)
stimulate blood circulation

Veterinarian Alongkorn Mahannop suspected it had ingested a toxic substance and administered saline solution and a drug to stimulate blood circulation.

recovered - get better again; became fit and healthy again ฟื้นฟูร่างกาย

The elephant recovered after 30 minutes and was able to eat.

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