Thailand to enhance medical care for elephants


LAMPANG, Aug 13 — Concerned agencies in Thailand have joined together to improve the efficiency of medical treatment for elephants as the number of domestic elephants is decreasing rapidly.

Thailand’s Forest Industry Organization, the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre (TECC) under the Royal Patronage and Chiang Mai University are holding a Conference on Elephant Health and Bio-Science, with participating veterinarians, elephant research experts and elephant doctors from across the country.

The conference, opened at Suan Dusit Rajabhat University Lampang today and will run through Friday. It is aimed at discussing elephant conservation measures, focusing on improving the efficiency of elephant medical care to save the lives of the endangered animals.

TECC Director Pasakon Meevasana said there were more than 50,000 elephants in Thailand 50 years ago, but today there are less than 500, both wild and captive. The causes of elephant deaths include poaching, accidents, natural causes and diseases.

Mr Pasakon said it is necessary to develop medical technology to prevent and cure diseases in elephants, such as tuberculosis and trypanosomiasis which have killed elephants in both Northern and Southern Thailand, while there are other diseases that can be passed from humans to elephants which veterinarians need to watch closely.