Sex, drugs and dodgy dodgy disco (elephants caught up in human frailty)
Where is John typing from? Where is he getting his titles? What direction are these blogs taking?
Well, don't concern yourselves too much I head home to warmth and stability of the Golden Triangle soon and it is worth noting that all the stories - including the newswire one below which I won't comment on as I'm sure you've all seen it - have happy endings or, at least, happy middles if that is as far as we've got.
I have though, it has to be said, been leading a shocking double life down here in the big mango, Bangkok - by day a representative of an elephant camp and luxury hotel, espousing the charity and elephant welfare side of the King's Cup Elephant Polo tournament, I got to sit on a leather couch in exalted company and give a speech on elephant ethics to assembled newsmen, I even had the temerity to blow my referee's whistle on some fine, upstanding Thai celebrities for minor infringements on the polo field...
...all the while hiding a dark secret. My nights, my nights, my nights; well, how to say, my nights have been spent in the seedier sides of this town, where those that dare come to indulge in the sex and drugs and for some reason dodgy disco - I would have thought it would all happen to rock and roll - at least that would have made life for a human non-indulger bearable.
And there's the thing, I didn't indulge (except in some pints of English beer for auld lang syne) for I was here to spot some other non-indulgers; working girls (of the four legged, big nosed kind).
Sure enough they came and though we lack money and land to help more than one or two of them in the near future I'll tell their stories as and when I return and can make them have a happy ending, but the mahouts know us now (K. Lord and K. Amp came with me) and know they have friends in, latitudinally speaking, high places - you'll excuse me if my usually airy blogs have taken a dark turn, yours would too.
Before I go, reasons to be cheerful:
1, Katherine's rescued ele, Pang Noi, at Boon Lott's Elephant Sanctuary, has given birth to an healthy baby named Nong Star.
2, My days were filled with meetings all of which cemented relationships with various people helping wild and domestic elephants in Thailand.
3, I'm going home today - and so soon these blogs will be filled with pic.s of the eles up there!
...on with the newswire and some good news, it seems, from China and I still need to travel up the river and see these wildies just 500kms and four borders North of us.
Heroin-addict elephant to rejoin herd after rehab (China)
BEIJING (Reuters) - A once drug-addled elephant fed heroin-laced bananas by illegal traders will soon return to the wild after being weaned off his addiction through methadone and round-the-clock care.
"Big Brother", a bull elephant that once "lived peacefully" with his herd near the China-Myanmar border in Yunnan province, was caught by traders in 2005, the China Daily said on Thursday.
"To control it so that it could lead the herd to where they wanted, the traders kept feeding it bananas laced with drugs," the paper said.
The traders, however, were caught trying to sell Big Brother and his herd after a tip-off to forest police.
By that time Big Brother had developed a raging heroin addiction and posed a danger to people if denied its fix, the paper said, citing police.
A drooling and twitching Big Brother had to be transported to a special park in the neighbouring island province of Hainan for treatment, after cold turkey proved so tortuous at a local centre that "even its iron chain could not contain it", the paper said.
After being diagnosed a heroin addict, park authorities in Hainan spent a year gradually weaning "Big Brother" off its dependence through methadone, regular bathing and massage.
Now clean, Big Brother will soon be returned home, the paper said.