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article imageElephants Stranded by Flooding in Thailand Special

By D Scott Rosenberg     Oct 13, 2011 in World
Bangkok - Recent floods in Thailand have stranded 15 elephants, seven mothers and their babies, and a nine year old elephant known internationally for his painting skills on top of a wall at the Royal Elephant Kraal in Ayutthaya.
Floods have so far ravaged homes and businesses in 52 of Thailand’s 76 provinces. Ayutthaya which is 76 kilometers from Thailand's capital of Bangkok has been one of the hardest hit areas,
The elephants who climbed atop the wall a week ago to escape the quickly rising water are in urgent need of fresh water and food. Elephants eat up to 200 kilograms of food per day.
The Royal Elephant Kraal which housed over 100 elephants before the floods was established 16 years ago. It runs many projects to conserve the highly endangered Asian Elephant. There are less than 2500 elephants left in Thailand - numbers have dwindled in recent years due to cessation of the logging industry in Thailand and deforestation.
The Royal Elephant Kraal began a breeding project in the year 2000 and has successfully bred 44 elephants. The Kraal also specializes in the care of old retired elephants with their Elephantstay program.
The two entrances to the Kraal became blocked a week ago when the flood water rose to a dramatic level. Now, the biggest issue is fresh food and water. It has been extremely difficult to get proper quantities of food to the elephants. The Kraal is only accessible by boat and there is an acute shortage of boats as they are being used for rescuing and evacuating stranded residents of Ayutthaya. The elephants require large quantities of pineapple plant. Bales of hay which were stockpiled to feed the elephants have since become moldy and inedible for the remaining 15 elephants.
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Elephant Stay
Ewa Narkiewicz, Communications Director, Elephantstay, said, “If proper help does not come soon the mothers and babies are in grave danger. With continuing rainstorms and rising flood waters their situation is critical.”
Michelle Reedy, Operations Director, Elephantstay indicated there may be a truck with pineapple husks coming from the Thai government operated Elephant Conservation Camp in Lampang which is about 600 kilometers from Ayutthaya. However, as events are unfolding quickly and due to disruption in communications caused by the flooding, it is hard to get exact details.
"We are just hoping for the best," said Ms. Reedy.
More about Natural disaster, Flood, Thailand, ayutthya, Elephants
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