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Vagrant Elephants Banned From Bangkok City

Should elephants be banned from Bangkok City?  

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Vagrant elephants banned from city

Thailand's prime minister has banned vagrant elephants from the streets of Bangkok in an effort to ease traffic chaos.

Thaksin Shinawatra says elephants brought in from the countryside cause road problems in an already congested capital city.

In his national weekly radio address, he said he had told the Interior Ministry and the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority to "not let elephants into Bangkok".

Scores of domesticated elephants - estimates range from 60 to 250 - roam Bangkok streets with their handlers, begging for food or promoting the sale of ivory trinkets.

They sometimes get hit by vehicles or fall into drains. Many of the elephants, extensively used for logging, were made redundant by a 1989 ban on the industry.

Thaksin said financial backers purchase elephants and then rent them out to the tourist-tout handlers.

"It creates lots of problems," he said. "It's dangerous and it makes a mess of traffic. Bangkok's traffic problems are a squeeze already."

--Ananova 2003-12-13

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I remember years ago in CM, just after I had arrived and enjoyed bars and foreigners, was sitting at a bamboo street bar in Moon Muang near the bar beer centre from memory, a pachyderm reached over my shoulder and cool as you please purloined my peanuts.

Quite the piss off as I was quite enjoying them.

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The elephants are going to disappear from Thailand all together if you take away all of their purpose. They are a tourist attraction as well, and I think that the people will be disappointed who were wanting to see them. I think that you should stop thinking about what is good for you and think about what is good for our animals. They are not just a nuisance, they are lives that you are ruining. Please reconsider.....

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most tourists find the sight of elephants walking around in the bangkok traffic quite upsetting and consider it cruel to the elephants.

there are better ways of demonstrating the majesty of these beasts to tourists than using them as an aid to begging and an obstruction to traffic.

there are many "elephant shows" where the elephant is at least allowed to remain in a more suitable environment and there are jungle elephant rides for tourists, these would seem to be more considerate of the pachyderms well being.

i saw on the tv recently that elephants have now been taught to paint and the paintings have been sold to art loving foriegners.

whatever next !

who knows....one day there might even be an elephant as prime minister. :o

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Si Sawat region lost one of their herd last week. A juvenile male fell into a charcoal hole which was located in a wildlife sanctuary. Less than 30 left in this region, according to the forestry workers.

Very sad.

:o

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I just voted to ban elephants from Bangkok's streets, but with reservations.

Elephants in Thailand are more than once-useful and still fascinating animals; they are woven into the national psyche, virtually demanding that extra thought go into solving their dilemma.

It seems if the government is indeed finally really to ban them -- and not conduct another short-term, much ballyhooed publicity stunt -- then there needs to be a plan regarding what to *do* with any elephants found in the city. Who, if anyone, will care for them, and where? If they are to be transported outside the city, where will they be sent? Who will take them -- and who will pay for that transport?

Another aspect of this is a surprising one to me: that the order comes from the Prime Minister himself, not from the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority nor even from the Bangkok Province Govenor. I have long assumed the PM's "C.E.O. governor" concept applied right up and down the line when talking about authorities with responsibilities in a specified geographic area. Considering the PM has taken the time to intervene in the problem suggests my assumption was wrong, and that despite the many, many tasks the PM faces on a daily basis, he can find time to look into municipal matters. True, Bangkok City isn't just *any* municipality -- but a municipality it is, fundamentally, despite it's status as the national capital and the nation's largest city.

I really love elephants, so in one sense will be sad if the ban actually works. Yet when I do see them, despite my delight there is a strong streak of sadness in seeing these magnificent creatures in such straits. I sure hope the PM (or other responsible authorities) follow up with a long-range plan to care for them.

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well if the prime minister has a much money as we all know he has then why not invest into the safe and well being of these lovely elephants outside of the city in there natural habitat ie a national park with rangers to make sure they are safe

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One of things I like about living in Bangkok is that I sometimes have a large elephant or two wandering along my soi - even though it does send the dog absolutely berserk. It's something that occasional visitors from back home in the UK like too. Part of the charm of exotic Thailand.

The elephant owners need to make a living somehow, or there just won't be any elephants left. If they are banned, that creates a social problem and destroys part of the character of the country. On the other hand, maybe the owners need to adapt to the 'new' Thailand where elephants have a reduced role to play. That has happened in many professions and is just part of the evolution of things - not always for the better.

The excuse for getting rid of them is what bothers me. They slow traffic (fine, in many cases, where traffic goes far too fast once unleashed from the 10 minute wait at traffic lights). They are hit by cars. In most countries, if a driver can't see an elephant they'd ban the driver, not the innocent elephant. And if something as huge as an elephant can fall down a drain, what hope for us humans!

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Elephans out of Bangkok? Yes of course but where is the solution for the Elephants? They where made redundant by a 1989 ban on the forest industry and now how are they going to get fed?

Its really stupid with these decisions when they are not thought through.

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Vagrant elephants banned from city

Thailand's prime minister has banned vagrant elephants from the streets of Bangkok in an effort to ease traffic chaos.

Thaksin Shinawatra says elephants brought in from the countryside cause road problems in an already congested capital city.

In his national weekly radio address, he said he had told the Interior Ministry and the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority to "not let elephants into Bangkok".

Scores of domesticated elephants - estimates range from 60 to 250 - roam Bangkok streets with their handlers, begging for food or promoting the sale of ivory trinkets.

They sometimes get hit by vehicles or fall into drains. Many of the elephants, extensively used for logging, were made redundant by a 1989 ban on the industry.

Thaksin said financial backers purchase elephants and then rent them out to the tourist-tout handlers.

"It creates lots of problems," he said. "It's dangerous and it makes a mess of traffic. Bangkok's traffic problems are a squeeze already."

--Ananova 2003-12-13

Taksin says "lets ban elephants from Bangkok..." Does this make him look good or rediculous (not the correct word, but let's stay polite :o ), cause as far as I remember elephants are ALREADY BANNED from Bangkok since a few years ago. The only problem is that NO ONE enforces the law; so will making a new ban on an existing ban (which is totally redundant) make any difference?

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I’m pleased with the ban because I suspect the animals are quite miserable. It’s good to see an action that can improve their lives and safety, but does anyone know what they can do, where they can go now?

(I don’t, it’s a question)

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There are so many differenmt ways to view this topic. I am no activist, but I do have compassion for these poor creatures reduced to doing circus acts and paintings. This is unnatural, and I believe cruel. These animals have served the Thai people for hundreds of years and what in return? They are getting pushed out of existence because they are no longer "useful". And as far as traffic goes, who the ###### cares? You're never going to get anywhere in BKK in less than an hour anyway!!!LOL!

We can't deny these animals a right to live, when they have helped Thais live for so long...

I'm glad to see the care in this topic though....

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but I do have compassion for these poor creatures reduced to doing..... paintings.

sound like a good life to me,much better than pounding the streets of bangkok being force fed bananas. they can express their personalities through their art and get in tune with their inner selves. :o

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