Handlers bring 2 female elephants to Nong Nooch
Tropical Gardens with hopes of them becoming pregnant before being returned
to the wild.
Two wild female elephants are now calling Nong Nooch
Tropical Garden home as the Pattaya elephant park and the Royal Elephant
Reintroduction Foundation work to increase Thailandís native pachyderm
Premjit Hemawat, the foundationís general manager, and a
team of elephant handlers and veterinarians delivered Thongkam and Doreme
from the Sab Lanka Natural Forest to the park June 8. The intent is to have
the two wild elephants breed with two Nong Nooch bulls, Bird, 33, and Ning
Doctors checked the bullsí blood and ran other tests to
be sure all conditions were right for successful breeding. It will take time
for the animals to become familiar with each other. If the females become
pregnant, they will be moved back to the elephant sanctuary in the Lopburi
Nong Nooch is helping restore Thailandís wild elephant
population by donating four of its popular pachyderms to a foundation
working to release 81 elephants into nature. Two cows, yet to be selected,
will act as breeders. 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.
The foundation was founded in 2007 to mark HM the Queenís 80th birthday
with a pledge to collect 81 elephants to release into the wild.