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Friday, January 3, 2014

Raising Awareness about the Importance of Elephants

141135906pThe number of elephants is on the decline. There is a strong need to protect them from extinction. The Forest Industry Organization will organize an event to raise and sustain public awareness of the importance of elephants.

The event “The Great Legend of Thai Elephant” is scheduled for 9-13 January 2014 at the Thai Elephant Conservation Center in Hang Chat district, Lampang province.

Deputy Permanent Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Mingquan Wichayarangsaridh said that the annual event in 2014 would be the third of its kind. It also aims to celebrate His Majesty the King’s 86th birthday anniversary, 5 December 2013 and to promote tourist sites supervised by the Forest Industry Organization.

More importantly, the five-day event will provide the public with proper knowledge and understanding about environmental management and eco-tourism. Among various activities are elephant parades in the Lanna style, exhibitions, a drawing contest on elephants, a bazaar of local products, and cultural performances.

There will be a contest of souvenirs made from ceramics, as well. Lampang has become the largest ceramics-producing area for Thailand’s ceramics industry. A plan is under way to develop this northern province as a ceramics center in the ASEAN region.

Lampang province is a major place for elephant conservation in Thailand. Visitors to the Great Legend of Thai Elephant event will also be provided with an opportunity to watch elephant shows and a light and sound presentation on the history of Thai elephants.

The province is the location of the Thai Elephant Conservation Center, which was set up in 1993 and is equipped with veterinarians, manhouts, and trainers. The Forest Industry Organization in 2004 established the National Elephant Institute in the compound of the Thai Elephant Conservation Center in order to extend the center’s vast expertise and experience to support other government agencies and private organizations working to help Thai elephants.

An elephant hospital has been set up at the Thai Elephant Conservation Center to provide medical care for elephants and serve as a training center for veterinarians. The center has also launched a mobile veterinarian project, under which veterinarians have been sent to provide treatment for sick elephants and offer medical check-ups for elephants in various places free of charge.

The Thai Elephant Conservation Center has become a major tourist attraction in the North, and has helped promote Thailand’s eco-tourism.

In Thailand, the elephant is recognized as the national animal. Thai people have lived in harmony with elephants as both working partners and friends for a long period of time.
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