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Night Safari to send elephants to China
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  1. #1
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    Night Safari to send elephants to China

    Night Safari to send elephants to China
    The Nation, 22 August 2006
    Environmentalists up in arms over deal

    With the controversy over the export of eight elephants to Australia still fresh in the minds of Thai and international environmentalists, the Chiang Mai Night Safari has agreed to send to China 29 wild animals from four endangered species.

    The species marked to be exported to Guangzhou Panyu Xiangjiang Safari Park were elephants, chimpanzees, Douc langue monkeys and false gavial. Chimpanzee and Douc langue monkeys are not native species to Thailand while the false gavial, a crocodile species, is very rare in the country because a breeding programme has not yet succeeded.

    All of the four species are on the list of Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) which means only the third generation of a captive born creature can be exported.

    "It is so dubious as to how the Night Safari could export species that are non-native to Thailand, and a species that we could not breed, to other countries," said Surapol Duangkhae, secretary-general of Wildlife Fund Thailand.

    He demanded the Night Safari disclose the process of how it obtained the animals before sending them to China.

    Soraida Salwala, secretary-general of the Friends of Asian Elephants Foundation, who obtained a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between a representative of Guangzhou Panyu Xiangjiang Safari Park and the Thai Consulate General in Guangzhou, said it stated that Thailand would try its best to obtain chimpanzees and send them to China.

    According to Soraida, the Consulate General signed the MoU last October as an authorised representative of Chiang Mai Night Safari. The animal exchange, stated the MoU, was to strengthen relations between the two countries.

    Thailand would receive 89 wild animals of 14 species including white tigers, wild yaks and white-lipped deers in the exchange.

    Supoj Methaphiwat, director of Chiang Mai Night Safari's animal management division, said he did not know about the MoU, saying it was better to ask his boss Plodprasop Suraswadi, director of the night safari. Plodprasop was not available for comment yesterday.

    Supoj said the night safari recently obtained a chimpanzee from Sriracha Tiger Zoo, while there was no Douc langue monkey or false gavial at the zoo.

    Soraida said five elephants were marked for the first ship-ment to China on September 7.

    She said the origin of the ele-phants was still in doubt as it was with the eight elephants

    sent to Australia. She demanded DNA tests be conducted to identify the origins of the creatures.

    Wattana Wittayaprasit, head of Cites Thailand, said he knew about the MoU, but had not yet given approval to the Night Safari to export the animals.

    "We have to think carefully. The death of two elephants [two days after they were exported to China two years ago] taught us to think carefully before giving approval," he said.

    According to Soraida, the Asian Conservation Alliance has learned about the MoU and was paying attention to the issue. She said the alliance, which includes many Thai conservation groups, would call a meeting on Friday.

    Pennapa Hongthong

  2. #2
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    seems like the night safari is in reality just an animal trading and supply service that wants to export all of the endangered species that is native here or from anywhere in the world they can get their hands on.

  3. #3
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    Re: Night Safari to send elephants to China

    Agreed.

  4. #4
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    Re: Night Safari to send elephants to China

    That was last year, never did hear what actually took place..
    But if they keep em here or send em to China, looks kind of like a death sentence either way.

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