Tag Archives: elephant

Wildlife In Sights: Pressures On Iconic Tiger, Elephant Draws Media Attention To Challenges Facing Laos

Tiger & Elephant Populations Under Local, Regional, Global Pressure: Laos biodiversity in the international media spotlight.

With the release of a major UN report on biodiversity loss, the state of and threats to wildlife worldwide and in hotspots like Laos including iconic species like the tiger and elephant draw more international media attention, The Laotian Times reports.

The most comprehensive ever completed, the UN Report IPBES Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services found Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’; Species Extinction Rates ‘Accelerating’ 

The efforts of one award-winning wildlife defender to shed light on the plight of animals kept at illegal tiger farms posing as zoos in Laos was covered by the Washington Post.

Emaciated Tiger (Washington Post)

Emaciated Tiger (Washington Post)

“They all want hope and happy endings,” The Washington Post quotes Swiss conservationist Ammann as saying of many well-meaning yet naive folk at home and around the world.

“And I don’t see any happy endings. I can’t create fiction from what I see as fact,” 

Alleged Tiger Trader Nikhom Keovised (Washington Post)

Alleged Tiger Trader Nikhom Keovised (Washington Post)

Meanwhile, pachyderms were the focus of coverage by US-based National Public Radio (NPR) ‘A Million Elephants’ No More: Conservationists In Laos Rush To Save An Icon.

“The national government also has a reputation of being supportive of elephant conservation efforts across Laos. Within the last 30 years, catching wild elephants and trading wildlife have been banned. Laws severely restrict the logging industry in its use of elephants. Yet, despite these efforts, “if current trajectories continue there will be no elephants left in Laos by the year 2030,” NPR quoted an article co-written by Chrisantha Pinto, an American biologist at the center, as saying.

Challenges Facing Laos' Wildlife including Iconic Tigers and Elephants (NPR)

Challenges Facing Lao’ Wildlife including Iconic Tigers and Elephants (NPR)

The challenges facing the planet, its plants and animals are real.

What Would Buddha Do?

With a biodiversity hotspot like Laos under pressure from regional and global pressures brought by unsustainable human activity and law-breaking, it’s time to get serious about enforcing the rule of law to protect what natural beauty the country has left for the next generations of our and all species.

Lumberings & Longings: Trials, Tales As Domesticated Elephants, Handlers Adjust to A New Era in Laos

Laos Mahout

Like wildlife in biological hotspots worldwide, Laos’ wild and domesticated elephants alike are facing a time of rapid and significant change, amid increased man-made developments and a fast-changing natural and socio-economic environment, Laotian Times writes.

Nakhon Phanom Ivory Haul & Bokeo SEZ Seizures Evidence of Disturbing Extent of Illegal Wildlife Trade

Ivory seized in Nakhon Phanom smuggled from Laos' Khammuan province.

Thai Police in Nakhon Phanom province have seized 930 items of ivory weighing some 22 kg from a Vietnamese national attempting to bring them across the international frontier from Laos’ Khammouane province, Thai news media reported Monday.

The case follows another major seizure in Laos Bokeo province on December 13 confirmed by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

In the Khammuan-Nakhon Phanom smuggling seizure case, the alleged suspect, a Ms Than Nguen Kee Thanh, 43, was taken into custody at the Thai border checkpoint on Sunday after she arrived by bus from Thakhek in the Lao province of Khammuan, the provincial customs chief Naratchapol Lertratchatapasorn confirmed, Bangkok Post reported Monday.

Ivory seized in Nakhon Phanom smuggled from Laos Khammouane.

Ivory seized in Nakhon Phanom smuggled from Laos’ Khammouane.

The Nation reported that “officials were conducting a routine check of the bus and the travel documents of passengers at the Third Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge’s border checkpoint in Nakhon Phanom’s Muang district when the discovery was made.”

“The woman claimed she was given Bt2,000 just before she boarded the bus from Laos to take the bag to an unknown recipient at the Nakhon Phanom bus terminal.”

Ivory seized in Nakhon Phanom smuggled from Laos' Khammuan province.

Ivory seized in Nakhon Phanom smuggled from Laos’ Khammuan province.


The move comes after raids and recent seizures of five outlets at a Special Economic Zone in Bokeo province on December 13 in the country’s North-West, near the frontier with Myanmar, undertaken by Lao authorities and documented by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

The enforcement is follows a Prime Ministerial order issued 8 May 2018 on the strengthening of the management and control of wildlife and wildlife in Laos.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF-Laos) welcomed the law enforcement measures, particularly the implementation of Order No. 05, which it said provided for the conservation of wildlife and stop illegal and endangered wildlife trade in Laos.

Images Credit WWF in Laos

The seizures while significant is unlikely to be the last while demand persists for the material and ringleaders remain out of reach.

Say no to Ivory says China's basketball hero Yao Ming.

Say no to Ivory says China’s basketball hero Yao Ming via billboard in Vientiane, Laos.Campaigns to change behavior like that led by China’s basketballer Yao Ming are being welcomed as a way to stem demand by helping to make ivory “uncool”. It is hoped that these can find results in time to save key and iconic species of the natural world.

Say no to Ivory says China's basketball hero Yao Ming.

Responsible tourists don’t buy Ivory, China’s first ever NBA basketball hero Yao Ming tells visitors to Laos.

Wild Elephant Crosses Laos-China Border

elephant crosses border Laos China

A wild elephant has been caught on camera crossing the border between Laos and China.

CCTV footage captured the wild elephant in south-west China strolling through the border crossing before sunup on Saturday morning.

The elephant walked from Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunanna Province, and took a walk across the border into neighboring Laos.

Cameras at the Chahe border crossing checkpoint took footage of the elephant walking toward the exit. When reaching the railing, the elephant slows and crosses the obstacle into the territory of Laos.

Border offiicals immediately sent two teams of soldiers to monitor the elephant and ensure its safety.

An hour later, the elephant headed back toward the border crossing, walking around the railing.

There are about 300 wild Asian elephants in China, found mostly in the forests of Yunnan Province.


Image / Video: The Star Online

Xayaboury Prepares for Annual Elephant Festival

Almost 70 elephants will feature in Xayaboury’s annual elephant festival from February 13-19, aiming to promote the province’s colourful culture and local livelihoods.

The aim of the festival is preserve the culture and livelihoods of Lao people who work with elephants. Elephants are a longstanding part of the nation’s history and have been an integral part of Lao life since ancient times.

Deputy Governor of the province, Mr Yanyong Sipaseuth, who also is a member of the event organising committee told media recently the 11th elephant festival will take place from February 13 to 19 at Xayaboury district stadium with the official opening being held on February 17.

Every year, provincial authorities plan many activities to celebrate the festival and this coming February 68 elephants will take part in events such as a grand parade, a baci ceremony, and even a beauty contest. The animals will also demonstrate their skills and the close relationship they have with their mahouts.

Visitors can take a ride on an elephant and watch them being bathed in the river.

In the evening there will be a vibrant street market featuring local products and goods from neighbouring countries.

The festival will spotlight the past and present role that elephants play in Laos, and their importance in Lao history and lifestyle.

It also highlights the plight of these endangered animals, whose numbers are dwindling fast.

Currently, elephant owners are being encouraged to care for their animals so that they are not overworked and can reproduce. Their former role as the mighty haulers of massive tree trunks through forests is becoming a thing of the past and instead they are living an easier life in the tourism industry.

The first elephant festival was held in 2007 in Hongsa district, when it was organised by the conservation group ElefantAsia.

It was subsequently held in Paklai district and then in Xayaboury district, which has hosted the event since 2012.

Source: Vientiane Times