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Jumbo Problems

A new bill on elephant welfare is being criticised by camp owners

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In the recent Thai action flick Tom Yum Goong 2, martial artist Tony "Jaa" Panom successfully creates a myth of being the most ferocious animal lover on the planet. After his elephant is kidnapped, he punches, kicks and risks his life, and even kills, to protect his "brother" _ the pachyderm believed to be a descendant of an auspicious war elephant. 

A group of elephant camp owners threatened a 100-strong pachyderm protest at Government House last month if the revised draft bill on domestic elephant registration by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation becomes effective. The owners claim their rights will be violated.

In reality, mahouts in Thailand are not as half virulent as Jaa's character on the big screen. Yet their boisterous protests late last month against a new draft of a domestic elephant registration and conservation bill is no less spicy than than the elephant-rescue mission in Tom Yum Goong 2.

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