"We visited a rubber farm torn done by a herd of females passing through. Rubber is not normally eaten by elephants but here it was, approximately 200 destroyed trees!
The farmers in this area seemed like they had resigned to the elephants being there, after many years of crop raiding they seem tired of being angry and work around the elephants the best they can. It doesn't help that there is 0 land titles in this area and they are pretty much all squatting on the national park land.
They are also against any sort of large trump style barriers that would deter
elephants because from what I understand many families also go deeper into the National Park to hunt wild animals, collect wood, steal trees and harvest mushrooms and bamboo shoots. Which at different times of the year are quite lucrative compared to record low rubber and pineapple prices.
Needless to say by now it was hot. Kui Buri is much hotter than Chiang Rai and so we retreated to our cabins for lunch and a power A/C nap.
In the afternoon we headed to park entrance with the rangers. Turns out they are all related to the staff there and so we had a lot of fun and once people learned we knew about elephants it became another huge information exchange.
Good piece of advice for visiting the ele's in Kui Buri, pay an extra 200 baht and take binoculars, well worth the money.
Tours for visiting the wild elephants that live in the northern part of the the Kui Buri valley typically start at 3pm. The guides are mostly female and are no that knowledgeable about elephants though they are quite experienced in finding them. It certainly helps if you can speak thai and have a translator.
The first animal we saw was an 800kg male Gaur that walked incredibly close to our truck after we had stopped to observe it. These are impressive animals that according to local farmers and rangers are apparently just as clever as elephants when it comes to getting out of the park and back in again.
Certainly bigger than anything I have ever seen in respect to gaurs. Kui has approximately 400 in the wild and you can often see 60-80 on a visit here. On this day I saw only this male but have previously seen much larger groups near to this same location.
It was not long until we found our first elephant. Or herd of elephants."
To be continued.....
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