Nong Nooch Tropical Garden is helping restore Thailand’s wild elephant population by allowing 4 female elephants to be brought to Nong Nooch to be bred with its male elephant population. The 4 female elephants had been kept at Nong Nooch’s Elephant Reintroduction Foundation, which is working to release 81 elephants into nature.
On April 11, Nong Nooch Director Kampol Tansatcha and Sattahip District Chief Chaichan Iamcharoen announced their intent to allow the foundation to breed the elephants for release.
Director Sumet Tantiwetchakul said the organization was founded in 2007 in response to Her Majesty the Queen’s vision for Thai Elephant preservation, and to mark HM the King’s 80th birthday.
Mahouts bring in a pair of elephants to put on display during the announcement.
The goal is to provide 81 elephants to present to Her Majesty the Queen to return to the wild.
Nong Nooch’s 33-year-old Bird and 17-year-old Nongnong will play a big part of that, being the main sperm donors to the project.
Elephant cows average only 1 calf every four years and each pregnancy runs 22 months.
Nong Nooch currently has 41 elephants in its stables, 36 of which are female. Of those, five are pregnant.
Park officials said they were proud to be part of such a noble effort to restore the wild elephant population.