In April 2012 I wrote a post about the harassment and raids at two highly respected animal sanctuaries in Thailand, Elephant Nature Park and Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand. With less than a month to go before we embark on our adventure to to the country, I wanted to write a follow-up post to unravel what has proven to be a very convoluted sequence of events and find out whatever became of the confiscated animals and the criminal charges.
Category Archives: Asia
"The wilderness is a really simple place. It is about survival, life, death, and birth. It is about living in the present! Humans have created so many façades that we live behind. We have made life complicated to the point where we have lost touch of why we are here. We are so set on planning for the future, or reliving the sorrows and misfortunes of our past, that we forget to enjoy the 'now.'" -Adam Bannister
You either get the point of Africa or you don't. If you can't get past the fear of animals, of poverty, the juggernaut of nature, then you probably won't. But if you do stand in it and smell it and listen to it, then it will be one of the biggest, most profound and powerful things you will ever feel.
Kim + Craig: How do you explain the spell places like Africa cast on you to someone who hasn’t traveled there? Bruce Colin: It is the light, the quality of light. That is the magical ingredient for me.
The second time I met Kirsty was during our first encounter with the Ngamo Pride. In the back of a Land Rover watching this very unique group of lions go about their daily routine, I spent as much time watching Milo and Co. as I did paying attention to Kirsty – how effortlessly she recognized each lion, her understanding of each lion’s place in the pride’s hierarchy, her unbridled giddiness at being witness to a long and luxurious grooming session between several of the lionesses, and the way she notated every behavior of each lion in detail. Meticulous detail. It was obvious Kirsty was in her element out in the Ngamo release site, and it felt like having pitch side seats at a cup final.
Although I left my heart in Africa last year a part of it now resides in Thailand, a country I've never been to, as I follow the day-to-day progression of events at two internationally respected wildlife sanctuaries. The Elephant Nature Park (ENP), and Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT), have been repeatedly raided by armed government officials from the Department of National Parks (DNP) in what appears to be retaliatory actions for statements made by ENP and WFFT decrying the illegal wildlife trade in Thailand, and the Thai government's suspected complicity.