"Thai animals should come first"

The government money used to extend the stays of Lin Ping and her parents could be better used to help the Thailand's own animals, the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation says.

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FAE decries govt’s panda loan splurge

Post reporters

The Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation (FAE) wants the government to pay more attention to local animals rather than allocating huge budgets to have Chinese pandas stay in Thailand.

FAE secretary-general Soraida Salwala made the call as the government is asking China to extend the loan of its giant panda Lin Ping and her parents.

Thailand has reached an agreement with China to have Lin Ping stay at Chiang Mai Zoo for a further 15 years from May 2014.

First, Lin Ping will return to China in October to find a mate, which will travel back to Thailand with her.

Thailand has also asked China for an extended stay for Lin Ping’s parents, Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui.

They were due to return to China in October when their 10-year loan expires, but Thailand has asked for their stay to be extended until Lin Ping’s return next May.

The government has agreed to pay China US$500,000 (14.8 million baht) for Lin Ping’s parents’ extended stay, and $1 million a year for Lin Ping and her mate.

‘‘Personally I feel neglected by the government’s move,’’ Ms Soraida said. ‘‘I would like the government to look at Thailand’s own animals, giving them more importance.’’

Her foundation typically raises 12 million baht a year for elephant conservation projects, and Ms Soraida said the FAE needs more state financial assistance.

decry – to strongly criticise somebody/something, especially publicly วิพากษ์วิจารณ์อย่างรุนแรง
loan – something borrowed สิ่งที่ให้ยืม
splurge – to spend a lot of money, especially on something special as a way of making yourself feel good ใช้เงินอย่างสุรุ่ยสุร่าย
pay attention – to watch, listen to, or consider something or someone very carefully เอาใจใส่, สนใจ
foundation – an organisation that provides money for things such as medical research or for a charity มูลนิธิ
local – in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about  ท้องถิ่น
allocate – to officially give something to someone  จัดสรร, จัดแบ่ง
budget – an amount of money able to be spent on something งบประมาณ
extend – to add more time ยืดออกไป
mate – an animal's sexual partner ผสมพันธุ์ (สัตว์)
due to – scheduled to มีกำหนด
expire – to come to an end or stop being in use หมดอายุ
personally – used for saying that you are giving your own opinion โดยส่วนตัว
neglected – not receiving enough care or attention ถูกทอดทิ้ง
raise (money) – to collect money for something
conservation – the protection of plants and animals, natural areas, and interesting and important structures and buildings, especially from the damaging effects of human activity การอนุรักษ์ธรรมชาติ, การป้องกันความสูญเสีย, การสงวนไว้
state – government รัฐบาล
financial assistance – help with money  ความช่วยเหลือทางการเงิน

Related search: Lin Ping, Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation (FAE), Soraida Salwala

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Writer: Terry Fredrickson
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