Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Did we or didn't we?

A few months ago, The British Women’s Group gave some money to the Elephant Conservation Network for equipment. I went up to stay in Kanchanaburi last weekend with my family to present the equipment to their rangers who were in dire need of the kit.

During our correspondence, Belinda, their Director said ‘Just so you know, you probably won’t see any elephants…” Weeeell, okay, I wasn’t only going to see elephants, but really to hand over their equipment … Still, I thought it’s better to be prepared … manage your expectations, and all that. Then Belinda said ‘You will see lots of shit and footprints.”

Good, okay, then. Did you know that elephants crap every ninety minutes?

There are about 170 elephants in the Salakpra Wildlife Sanctuary and each mature adult requires between 200 and 300 kg of food EVERY DAY. That’s a lot of poo.

Elephants are hugely important in Thailand. They are royal, religious and national icons but they are still threatened by growing human population. Human elephant conflict is a big problem. The forests, the elephants’ home, have been encroached upon, exploited and developed. Now this means that the quality of food available in the forest is diminished and the elephants crop raid (they eat local farmers’ crops) which cheeses the farmers off, quite understandably.

Elephant Conservation Network is an NGO working alongside local people, other NGOs, local and national government agencies to find solutions to these problems.

So did we see an elephant? We certainly saw lots of poo. Belinda told me she’d never seen an elephant in the daytime up at the ranger station, but Pi Nui, the head ranger, said that a young bull elephant had wandered into the camp just the day before!

On the way back from our tour … we did see an elephant. Can you see the elephant shaped thing behind the heads and the trees?

Click to make it larger
if you can't see it.


Carol and Chris said...

It's just like a game of Where's Wally...only with an elephant!!! Glad you saw one hon, even if it was through the trees!!

C x

ChrisH said...

You wouldn't think an elephant could hide that well, would you? Or was it just crouching behind a bush to have a crap??

Anonymous said...

Very cool, glad you kind of saw one :)

HelenMHunt said...

Good hiding from that elephant!

SueG said...

Me again...I've been looking over my blog and saw that I have neglected to list you all this time. Yikes! Mea culpa! Sorry. All fixed now, though :-(

JJ said...

Carol, thanks hon. I got a better look at him myself but didn't manage a better pic!

Chris, LOL.

M&T, He was wild: I was kinda glad he was a long way away!

Helen, at least he didn't stick his head in the mud?

Sue, I hadn't noticed or if I had I'd forgotten. I wasn't sitting here harbouring a grudge! But thanks for the remedy.