Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation


...since the owner of this internet company shot an elephant I don't really feel comfortable blogging here.

From now on my main blog will be held on the Anantara website - less easy to follow and to search - but no-one has ever accused my writing of being easy to follow.

Hope to see you on the other side:


Why're you wasting your time? I could've told you that (on the intelligence of scientists)

Elephant tuned people such as yourselves can't have missed the recent publication of yet another paper in which some foreign boffins came & told us what we thought we already knew. With a series of rigs, nets, rope & not a bit of perseverance they deduced that elephants were clever and could work together.<< MORE >>

The Wild Elephant Census in Sri Lanka (guest post by Srilal Miththapala)

The article itself outlines the various methods available to those attempting to put a figure on even the largest of mammals in the thick Asian bush and, hopefully, goes some way to explaining the inherent statistical errors involved - the reason most people will only ever give a range instead of an exact number when asked 'how many wild elephants do you have?'.<< MORE >>

Furrowed brows & dusty roads in Lao(s) (& some very handsome eles too).

So a great time was had by all, the elephants got a weekend or more off from their normal job, dragging huge (but ever diminishing) logs through the forest, the millions of local folks (& not a few intrepid travellers) got a chance to meet elephants, see human circus acts and, to top it all, the conservation groups got a chance to drip feed ideas into the madding throng.<< MORE >>

I fought the law and... (well actually, has anyone read what the law says?)

In the past we have talked at some length about the need for an elephant law in Thailand, I have stated to you, bold faced, that for the domestic version of the beast there is no protection except an aging draught animal law designed mainly to stop your elephant being stolen - under this law the ele is an asset like any other piece of machinery.<< MORE >>

Too many elephants? (have they bitten off more than they can chew)

No matter where I place myself I see between 18 - 23 elephants. The official total for the plane is 190-something and this is borne out by the 'Roberts Counting Method' (patent pending). Whichever way you crumble your cookie, there are a lot of elephants here, a lot of mahouts and a lot of their families too.<< MORE >>

Blowing away the mists of time in search of the old language.

To record the so called spirit or forest language of the elephant catchers: the rumour goes that all elephant catching peoples have the tradition of a language used only in the forest when catching elephants, known only to a select band of initiates, a language designed to confuse the spirits enough that they don't warn the elephants of this band of biped's intentions. << MORE >>

Large Legal Loopholes Lead to Leniently Levying Lawmakers (education must be key)

Her story went like this: She is a Thai lady married to a Mozambican man, heading home to Thailand for the holidays and transiting through Kenya, in Mozambique it is legal to buy and sell ivory on the street, as it is in Thailand so it hadn't occurred to her that it may be illegal to transfer ivory from one country to another, nor that Kenya might get so stressed out about people removing parts of one of it's protected species.<< MORE >>

Heading for the hills (mountain folks returning to the old ways).

Recently we visited a project that aims to help them not only to do this but to go a step further and not make the return pilgrimage, to earn a living by staying in the hills and by exploring how the old ways worked and how they might continue to work in the modern world. The Elephant Vet Aid Outpost is run by a vet who cut his teeth at the Government hospital and private sanctuaries, witnessed the annual migration and worked with Garieng mahouts - took the time (& we like this) to ask them what they wanted for their elephants.<< MORE >>

On the efficacy of computer modeling in Mysticland without programming the people parameter.

As a foreigner somewhat immersed in say, Thailand, I know first hand the frustration of a circular argument and am still not yet immersed not to be a little offended when someone who knows my history here reminds me that "It wouldn't work, this is Thailand" when I come up with one of my earth shatteringly brilliant ideas to save the world. With that frustration in mind, I try not to patronise others when they unveil their earth shatteringly brilliant ideas.<< MORE >>
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