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Home > Thailand Article > Thailand considers World Heritage status for 'Death Railway' Asian Political News, Feb 20, 2006

Thailand's trunk show Contra Costa Times, March, 2006 by Anne Chalfant

Elephants steal the spotlight

Elephants playing harmonicas?

We exchanged looks of dread when our tour leader announced the upcoming stop at Maesa Elephant Camp near Chiang Mai, Thailand. The idea of trained elephants in captivity grates against my sense of the dignity these wonderful animals should be afforded.

And yet we knew Thailand's predicament. With deforestation now outlawed, 2,000 elephants have lost their jobs. Up until recently, the huge animals, weighing up to 7,000 pounds, have up hauled teak logs from Thai forests.

It's how they make their living, a necessity to feed an animal that eats up to 440 pounds of produce a day.

Thailand's long love affair with elephants -- and they do revere these animals to a nearly sacred level -- had recycled a lot of the tuskers into tourism. So off our tour group went to Maesa Elephant Camp near Chiang Mai. more.

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