Sunday, June 26, 2011

Krabi still a destination

photo from Jamie's phuket weather blog
Most of the time overcrowded Maya Bay is a horrible tourist trap that rivals James Bond Island as one of the World's most abused touristic spots.  

Even worse than the unsupervised overcrowding is that everybody (except Phuket Tropical Marine and Simba) seems to have an unnecessary need to feed the macaques - very dangerous for tourists and unhealthy for the CRAB EATING macaques.  Many have tumors under their jaws and will die a slow and painful death thanks to eating bananas, oranges, left over scraps from lousy speedboat lunches, etc.  In 22 years in South Thailand I have NEVER seen a banana growing on a limestone island.

(Ed - here is an article about a turtle and a plastic bag)

If you want to do Thailand a favor, do not go to James Bond Island or Maya Bay.  At James Bond the “curios” are carved seashells and (at last count) four baby gibbons – 7 to 9 wild gibbons die for each one that becomes a tourist attraction.  

photo from Scubafish International 
photo from Scubafish International

My hat is off to Krabi for keeping the Talin estuary relatively free of rubbish and wildlife feeding.  Wish I could say the same for Phang Nga Bay.  Shame on the National Park for not taking care of iconic Phang Nga Bay – truly one of the World’s most beautiful spots – when you can see past the marine rubbish and mass tourism. 

See you on the water, Ling Yai (Thai for 'Big Monkey') AKA John Caveman Gray


Monday, June 20, 2011

The World's largest collection of seeds - going?

"300 different varieties of strawberries and much more - this is not your typical Russian 
bank with mafiaosa connections but a seed bank with the world's largest collection of living seeds / plants and they want to build over it........."

have a look

See you on the water, Ling Yai (Thai for 'Big Monkey') AKA John Caveman Gray

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Elephants in Sumatra - the Orangutans?

It's bath time at the elephant camp on the outskirts of Gunung Leuser National Park in northern Sumatra - and tourists are allowed to help.
The mahouts, or elephant trainers, will give you a scrubbing brush, as their grey charge lies on her side to let the ritual begin.
In 2001, with the help of the Indonesian NGO, Indecon, the community banded together to form the Tangkahan Tourism Institute (Lembaga Pariwisata Tangkahan (LPT) and passed regulations prohibiting the exploitation of the surrounding forest.
And so the CRU or Conservation Response Unit was born - a team of Sumatran elephants and their mahouts that helps safeguard the national park to protect it from encroachment.

Wish this was happening in South Thailand. 

After beating my head against the wall for 22 years and collecting 8,817 bags of rubbish by kayak, I'm so frustrated with the lack of awareness and unchecked, untrained tourism that ony cares about money I'm about to throw in the towel. 

What's encouraging about this story is somebody is doing it right - please have a look at SOS - the Sumatran Orangutan Society - who are trying to stop the loss of Sumatra's Orangutan.

See you on the water, Ling Yai (Thai for 'Big Monkey') AKA John Caveman Gray

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

A zoo? I would say it's a prison and hunting!!!!

I'm a lifelong wildlife rehabber.  My job is to get my "orphans" back into the wild as soon as possible.  Unless I have an injured animal that requires caging for its own protection until it can take care of itself, (such as a bird with broken or severely clipped wings) I never cage or tether an animal.  As soon as it is healthy, it's on its way.  My first rehab job was a pigeon that flew to school with me every day and sat on my shoulder in class (1st grade).  It was the smartest pigeon ever!

My guess is this litter of two was born with defects.  The mother knew them intuitively, and rejected both cubs.  That's Nature, folks.  

As to zoo's, I don't care for them but we are getting better at it.  I was Ecotourism consultant for Singapore and they do a pretty good job with their zoos.  I did find one distressed hyena in the night safari that just paced back and forth in a line, but the other animals were fairly well taken care of.  I didn't like the raptors tethered at Jurong Bird Park, but their fly cages are so big most of the birds don't even realize they are in cages.  

I also think Jack Hannah is a jerk for endorsing hunting.  The only honorable hunting is to let hunters hunt each other.  The world will be a better place when all the hunters kill each other off.  Are you listening, Sarah Palin?

(Ed - Don't visit Phuket Zoo!)

See you on the water, Ling Yai (Thai for 'Big Monkey') AKA John Caveman Gray

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