Jump to content
BANGKOK
Sign in to follow this  
webfact

Hungry times at Thailand's elephant sanctuaries as coronavirus hits tourism

Recommended Posts

Hungry times at Thailand's elephant sanctuaries as coronavirus hits tourism

By Jiraporn Kuhakan

 

2020-04-06T075645Z_1_LYNXMPEG350EE_RTROPTP_4_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-THAILAND-ELEPHANTS.JPG

A migrant worker from Myanmar rides an elephant after giving it a shower at an elephant camp closed to tourists due to the nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus , in Kanchanaburi, Thailand April 3, 2020. Picture taken April 3, 2020. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

 

KANCHANABURI, Thailand (Reuters) - The mahouts at an elephant sanctuary in western Thailand have resorted to swimming in a nearby lake to gather weeds for fodder, as a nationwide lockdown has left them without tourist dollars needed to pay for the fruit their animals like.

 

In a normal season, the Taweechai Elephant Camp in the western province of Kanchanaburi would welcome more than 100 tourists per day, mostly from Russia and European countries. Each tourist would spend around $30 to $150 for different activities, such as riding or feeding elephants.

 

But now there is only money going out, and no money coming in. Feeding the camp's 25 elephants, and paying the mahouts and other staff costs around 1 million baht ($30,395) a month, according to owner Dumrong Longsakul.

 

"I have been stressed to the point that I can't sleep, I don't know what to do," said Dumrong, whose father started the camp.

 

Dumrong said that he can neither lay off the staff nor let the elephants go, as the elephants would be unable to fend for themselves in the wild and need mahouts to look after them.

 

The camp is one of many animal sanctuaries that depend on the millions of tourists visiting Thailand from around the world each year, and in all there are an estimated 2,000 elephants involved in the tourism industry.

 

Somkit Methachotikul, a 29-year-old mahout who gets a monthly salary of 7,500 baht ($228), said that he was worried for the well-being of his family and the elephants.

 

"Elephants are like our family members. If they are eating well, sleeping well, that makes me happy," said Somkit.

 

Thailand has reported 2,220 cases of the new coronavirus and 26 fatalities since the outbreak first emerged in January, and the government declared a state of emergency last month.

 

(Writing by Patpicha Tanakasempipat; editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

 

reuters_logo.jpg

-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-04-06
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let them out people will feed em.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Kwasaki said:

Let them out people will feed em.

Yes, quite amazing that elephants survived thousands of years in the wild

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/6/2020 at 5:09 PM, Kwasaki said:

Let them out people will feed em.

They won't they will shoot them if the elephants start eating their land and destroying property's

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, darrendsd said:

They won't they will shoot them if the elephants start eating their land and destroying property's

Then shoot the people that shoot the elephants.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...