Elephants Preferable to Rottweilers

A tragedy in Nakhon Ratchasima when two Rottweilers killed a two-year old girl and seriously wounded her mother. The dogs belonged to the Dutch man who was the father and husband but was mostly working away in his home country. It is not clear why he thought it was a good idea to inflict these dangerous animals on his young family.

Of course, as I have mentioned before, we see few animals in Bangkok these days – a few birds, some scraggy squirrels and the endless soi dogs (the taxi caught one of them a good one on the noggin the other day – ha). Well, yesterday there was an elephant in the soi, with a couple of people leading him around and collecting money to feed him with bananas and whatever else might be available. It is nice to see the elephant and remember that we share the country with these lovely looking creatures. Of course, it is illegal now to bring elephants into the city and many people complain that doing so is cruel and so on.

There are still several thousand elephants in the country and keeping them all going is becoming a serious problem. At a recent conference, a paper was given about the economics of feeding the elephants – they do after all eat an enormous amount. The speaker concluded that, now that there was no need for them in the construction or logging industries, that it would probably be necessary to find some role for them in tourism so that they can help earn their own food. There is not enough available habitat for them to survive on their own. Unfortunate, but there it is – playing football is the future for the tuskers, apart from those one or two who actually make artwork (paintings) which are then sold – yes, it is true.

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JW has been one of the first contributors to this blog before he gave up on it all in April 2010, during a time when Thai society got more and more polarized about political matters because of red-shirt protesters.

2 thoughts on “Elephants Preferable to Rottweilers”

  1. I would expect such an in-depth analysis by a person who is amused at the sight of a dog hit by a taxi, but for your information: begging elephants in Thailand are illegal for a reason. They are wild animals who are being grabbed from the jungles in order to make some money for the people who steal and abusively train them, and who then cry that some role in the tourist industry has to be found for them because there “isn’t enough habitat”. There would be plenty of habitat if the people would make an effort to use it responsibly, rather than continuing to steal baby elephants from the wild to make a quick buck teaching them to paint (yes, it is true) or to beg. Please visit the Elephant Nature Park, or find it online, for some at once sensitive AND realistic information about these animals and their situation.

  2. haha, elephant economics! I wonder what the annual costs are of taking care of an elephant. (would make an interesting comparison – what kind of car could you lease for this money).

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