Bangkok, July 13 (ANI): Bangkok authorities have issued a new ordinance wherein people caught feeding bananas or sugar cane to elephants, proffered by their handlers to make money, will be fined 10,000 Baht.
According to The Star, Thailand has about 2,400 domesticated elephants. There is little demand these days for the animals' traditional skills in logging and other labor, so owners sometimes loan them for begging from tourists and locals in major cities.
"The ordinance is issued to prevent untidiness or danger toward properties and lives of Bangkok residents, there had been cases of elephants hurting people and falling into drains," Manit Techa-apichoke, deputy director of the City Law Enforcement Department said.
He said authorities had caught 30 jumbos in Bangkok over the past four months, but none since the new ordinance took effect July 1, although handlers were finding ways to circumvent the crackdown.Friends of the Asian Elephant', a Thai Non-Government Organisation, which cares for injured or mistreated elephants, appreciated the step taken by the Thai Government and called it a good start.
"I've been asking for them to do this for 15 years, it's not the total solution, but it's a help, I hope that the other Thai cities would follow suit." the NGO's founder, Soraida Salwalla.
Earlier, elephant handlers, also known as 'mahouts' and their accomplices were fined for bringing an elephant into Bangkok, but those feeding the animal escaped punishment. (ANI)