Photo: Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) Facebook

Thailand: Corpse of wounded Bryde’s Whale found off Prachuap Khiri Khan
23rd February 2017;

The body of a Bruda Bryde’s Whale (Balaenoptera edeni) was found off the shore of Prachuap Khiri Khan province on Thursday.

Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park chief Rungroj Assawakuntharin and a Kui Buri Fisheries officer went for inspection after being alerted by fishermen that they had found the body of a large sea creature on a pile of rocks 2 kilometres off Sam Phraya beach.

The officials took photographs of the dead Whale, which was stuck in the rocks, before forwarding it to Sophon Thongdee, deputy director general of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR), who confirmed that it was a Bryde’s Whale.

The Whale, estimated to be four to five metres in length, has a wound in the middle section of its body. It is believed that the creature died three to five days ago before the waves carried its body to the rocks. DMCR will send officials on Friday to conduct an autopsy on the body to find the cause of death.

Source: The Nation

The taxonomy of the Bryde’s Whale is still far from settled; what we call the Bryde’s Whale has been split into two subspecies or even distinct species by some authorities: the true Bryde’s Whale, a larger species found in tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide (Balaenoptera brydei), and the Eden’s Whale, a smaller form that may be restricted to coastal waters of the Indo-Pacific (Balaenoptera edeni). Both species(?) have been recorded from tropical waters of Southeast Asia.

  1. Authorities collect additional evidence from one of the Elephant carcasses found to have not decomposed completely at Hua Hin’s Elephant Village on Thursday.
  2. Thanya Netithammakul, head of the National Parks Department (middle), and other officials inspect some of the Elephant bones.

Photos: Chaiwat Satyaem

Thailand: DNA tests begin on dead Hua Hin Elephants
By Chaiwat Satyaem, 5th January 2017;

Wildlife experts expect to know within two weeks whether the remains of five Elephants (Elephas maximus) found buried at Hua Hin’s Elephant Village were illegally captured in the wild, but in the meantime are still trying to trace the village’s owner.

DNA testing of the remains found in four undocumented graves is now underway, officials of the Phaya Sua Task Force said on Thursday.

The task force, which tracks illegal wildlife traffickers, on Wednesday discovered the skeletal remains of four adult Elephants and a calf on a property behind Wat I-Ti Sook To on Hua Hin-Nongplub Road, about 2.5 km from Hua Hun Market.

The temple had leased the land to Moo Baan Chang, the city’s first Elephant Village, which opened in 2000.

Thanya Netithammakul, head of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, said Thursday the remains were likely to have been buried for less than two years. One of the Elephant carcasses was covered by monk’s robe and was not completely decomposed.

Mr Thanya said there was a heavy smell of anaesthesia at the pits. It led task force officials to believe that wildlife poachers had tranquilised wild Elephants in the Western forest complex to capture and merge them with domestic populations or dissect them for body parts. Some may have died from an overdose of tranquilising agents.

Mr Thanya said the task force received a tip-off about dead wild Elephants being buried at Moo Baan Chang on Dec 15. Officials hunted down witnesses who lead them to the burial site.

Mr Thanya said underground water at the site had helped to preserve the carcasses, making DNA testing easier.

“We will work as quickly as we can in conducting DNA tests on all the unearthed Elephants. The process is expected to take about two weeks.”

Mr Thanya, who set up the Phaya Sua Task Force, said since May last year it had seized six Elephants from Hua Hin Zoo, Moo Baan Chang in Hua Hin and Moo Baan Chang in Ratchaburi province. The Elephants and the three attractions are owned by a 52-year-old businessman and former tourist guide, Prakorb Chamnarnkij.

Meanwhile, soldiers from Thanarat Infantry Camp and Hua Hin police exercised their power under Section 44 of the interim constitution to search Mr Prakob’s home in La Vallee Light housing estate in tambon Hin Lek Fai of Hua Hin district.

The only people in the house were the caretaker and her child, but Mr Prakob’s lawyer, who witnessed the search, was ordered to call the businessman. He could not reach him, and Mr Prakob’s whereabouts remain unknown as of Thursday evening.

The Department of Special Investigation is looking into the evidence collected by the task force to see if there are grounds to treat it as a special case.

Source: Bangkok Post

Phaya Sua task force chief Chaiwat Limlikit-aksorn (black cap) and other officials inspect Elephant bones excavated at Moo Baan Chang in Hua Hin on Wednesday.
Photo: Chaiwat Satyaem

Thailand: Elephant bones linked to wildlife trafficking
By Chaiwat Satyaem, 4th January 2017;

A task force on wildlife trafficking has unearthed the bones of five Elephants (Elephas maximus) which they suspect are linked to the merging of wild animals into domestic populations.

The Phaya Sua task force excavated a site in Moo Baan Chang (Elephant Village) after it received a tip-off that dead Elephants had been buried there without the knowledge of concerned authorities.

In an expanded investigation into the assimilation of wild Elephants in the Western forest complex, the team was tipped off that wildlife poachers had tranquilised wild Elephants in Kaeng Krachan National Park in nearby Petchaburi province and transported them on vehicles to Moo Baan Chang, waiting to merge them with captive populations. However, some of the captured Elephants died from an overdose of tranquilising agents and were buried.

Chaiwat Limlikit-aksorn, chief of the Phaya Sua special task force, said Prakorb Chamnarnkij, the owner of Moo Baan Chang, had never reported a single dead Elephant to authorities. Therefore a thorough examination would be needed to conclude if the Elephant remains were linked to the Elephant gang.

The Phaya Sua task force, accompanied by forensic scientists, anti-graft officials and Department of Special Investigation officers, used backhoes to excavate five separate spots in Moo Baan Chang where they had been told the remains of dead Elephants were buried.

The team made the first discovery at 1pm on Wednesday. They found skeleton remains of two Elephants of unknown age buried three metres deep on the eastern side of the attraction’s tourist reception centre.

Officials have held all of the staff for questioning.

The skeletal remains of the third Elephant were discovered at 2.45pm about 200 metres from the first spot. The remains were of varying size and included many parts from the skull, leg and neck.

Mr Chaiwat said the remains were likely to have been buried for not less than two years. Excavation will continue at the sites.

Thanya Netithammakul, head of the National Parks Department, will inspect the sites on Thursday to arrange a follow-up investigation.

The Phaya Sua unit was set up by Mr Thanya in May last year. Its main objective is to arrest major offenders and influential figures behind forest encroachment and wildlife trafficking, launching at least two cases each month.

Source: Bangkok Post

A young Finless Porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides) measuring 85 centimetres long and weighing about 5 kg was found on the beach of Pak Nam Pran, Pran Buri District, in Prachuap Khiri Khan.

Source: Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) of Thailand Facebook

The decomposing remains of an unidentified species of Dolphin (F. Delphinidae) were washed ashore in Prachuap Khiri Khan.

Source: Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) of Thailand Facebook

  1. A Bryde’s Wale after it was pulled ashore Friday morning on Khlong Wan Beach in Prachuap Khiri Khan province.
  2. A Bryde’s Whale is pulled to the Khlong Wan Beach on Friday morning in Prachuap Khiri Khan province.

Thailand: Giant Whale killed by boat pulled ashore in Prachuap Khiri Khan
By Chayanit Itthipongmaetee, 1st April 2016;

A huge Whale from a threatened species was killed in a boat collision and found Friday morning off Koh Phang beach in the southern province of Prachuap Khiri Khan.

Chumpon Yodwipan, a local wildlife monitor, said the Whale was found Friday morning by local fishermen near Koh Phang, located nearly 3 kilometers from the Khlong Wan Beach. The Whale’s swollen body reportedly measured 10 meters and weighed over 10 tons.

The Whale’s body was pulled to the shore by a boat for examination by marine and coastal resource officers, Chumphon said by phone Friday afternoon.

He said the Whale appeared to be about 7 years old. He was told by marine officers that it had been dead for more than seven days and a fatal wound was found on the creature’s back, suggesting it had been hit by a boat.

Bryde’s Whales (Balaenoptera brydei/Balaenoptera edeni) were once commonly found in the Gulf of Thailand, where several die annually, usually from encounters with people.

Legal protection under the 1992 Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act was extended to the species last year, as only 52 Bryde’s Whales were thought remaining in the gulf.

Source: Khaosod English

The taxonomy of the Bryde’s Whale is still far from settled; what we call the Bryde’s Whale has been split into two subspecies or even distinct species by some authorities: the true Bryde’s Whale, a larger species found in tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide (Balaenoptera brydei), and the Eden’s Whale or Sittang, a smaller form that may be restricted to coastal waters of the Indo-Pacific (Balaenoptera edeni). Both species(?) have been recorded from tropical waters of Southeast Asia.

Thailand: Sick Elephant recovers, returned to wild

By Chaiwat Satyaem, 5th August 2015;

A female wild Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus) found sick in Hua Hin forest two months ago was released back into its natural habitat on Wednesday after treatment restored it to full health.

A ceremony was held at a reservoir in the Littiruachai special warfare training camp in Hua Hin district to release Phang Littiruachai, who is aged about seven or eight, into Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex after 46 days of treatment.

Phang Littiruachai was the first Elephant to undergo treatment in the forest by veterinarians from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.

The Elephant was found lying near the reservoir by border patrol police on June 21 and was named after the camp — Littiruachai.

Veterinarians from the department and Kasetsart University’s Hua Hin veterinary teaching hospital found Phang Littiruachai had consumed some kind of chemical substance which caused mouth ulcers and severe diarrhea.

The medical team supervised the pachyderm closely around the clock until it became well and could eat normally.

Phang Littiruachai was chaperoned across a creek to the jungle by mahouts on two older Elephants from Hua Hin Elephant Village before being unroped and released, amid cheering from park officials and local and foreign animal rights activists. The ceremony was presided over by department director-general Nipon Chotiban.

A radio transmitter was attached to the jumbo’s neck so that park officials could check the walking routes of wild Elephant herds in the area. The GPS radio-collar has a 10-km transmission radius and seven-year life.

Source: Bangkok Post

Thailand: Sick Elephant recovers, returned to wild