MAMMAL WATCHING IN SALAK PRA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY.APRIL 2013


Salak Pra Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area since 1965 in the province of Kanchanaburi.It is the first wildlife sanctuary established in Thailand.I had holidays for Song Krang but i didn t decide where to go yet.I was worried how to get somewhere due to during that holiday a lot of thais travel around Thailand to visit their families and celebrate Song Kram.After discarding to go to Chiang Mai because all the buses were full, i decided to go to Kanchanaburi,a nearer destination at only 1 hour and a half  from where i live.I took a mini van from Future Park, cause it s not too crowded as it is in Victory Monument.A psycho van driver dropped me in Kanchanaburi in a record time and i went to Th. Mae Nam Kwae  where i could rent a motorbike.

I rode for 55 km,passing the wildlife sanctuary main office,until Khao Namphu entrance.Around the headquarters there are some individuals of banteng, mainly females and a big male.The banteng is a wild ” cow ” that is nowadays an uncommon mammal species in Thailand.I could take some nice pictures of this animal around this area.

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Banteng Male in Salak Phra Sanctuary
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Banteng Female in Salak Phra Sanctuary

I talked to one of the guards that protect that area and he brought me to the main trail.The trail was covered with a lot of leaves,so i was not sure to followed it.I said to him if he could bring me along the trail.He accepted and we went there for almost 2 hours.We found many tracks of elephants,banteng,gaur, wild bear and wild pig.I took some pictures of them that you can see them on my next post.

Afterwards,as we couldn’t sleep inside the sanctuary we went to Erawan national Park.We placed our tent and at 4 o’clock we came back to Khao Champhu.Again we followed the trail, finding numerous animal tracks on it.Around 6 o clock, we stopped beside a stream waiting  for animals to drink water.Suddenly,around 6;15 pm we heard a big animal making noise with bamboo sticks.He was eating them and we supposed it was an elephant.After waiting for 5 minutes the elephant appeared near the stream and we were just 10 meters in front of him.It was a huge bull tusker elephant with enormous tusks.It was more than 3 meters tall !!!! I’ve never seen so enormous wild elephant in Thailand !!! When we saw it, our guide shouted very loud to make him go back.It was for our own safety but I missed the best chance to take a picture of that huge male !!!

We were very excited and we were talking what we saw but i was a little bit upset for not taking a picture

Next day i woke up at 5 o clock and i went straight to the sanctuary again.I met Mek, our guide, and we went to the trail again.Around 8 o’clock  a big female of elephant was moving and eating bamboo sticks.We followed her at some distance, while taking some pictures, until the stream,where she started to be nervous due to our presence and she turned back and spread her ears.We stopped suddenly looking at her and she moved away.

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Elephant Female near a stream in Salak Phra Sanctuary

In the afternoon,around 4 o’clock, we decided to get our motorbikes and followed the rough road along the sanctuary.I was willing to see more animals.We crossed 3 streams without seeing anything remarkable when suddenly we heard elephants trumpeting on both sides of the road.There was at least a herd of 10 elephants,females and their babies and they were quite nervous.We were just at 4 meters beside them.We stopped our motorbike and the guide told me to come back.I was very nervous,and i couldn t turn on the motorbike when the elephants were approaching even more.So i dropped it and i run very fast just a few meters away.The guide could turn back his motorbike and afterwards went to pick up my motorbike.In that kind of situation i could realize of the big guts of the person i was walking with !!

Keeping some distance,the elephants,that were eating bamboo,crossed the road quite fast and went slope down.I saw wild elephants in Thailand many times,in Khao Yai and Khao Ang Rua Nai but i’ve never faced a situation like this.Afterwards,the guide told us that maybe wouldn t be safe to continue the road so we went back.We were still nervous and excited..we couldn t believe what happened to us !!! On the way back we heard some elephants after crossing the last stream on the right side.

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An individual of the herd of 10 elephants going slope down

Next day i just relax on the superb Erawan waterfalls, fully crowded with Thais and foreigners as usually for Song Kram.Afterwards i went to Prathat cave to climb the almost one thousand steps before reaching the cave.The road to the cave has excellent views of the dam and the landscape is gorgeous !!!

In the afternoon,I went again to the sanctuary.We went along the trail but much farther.The leaves were too dry and it was easy for the animals to detect our presence.We approached near the stream waiting for some animals to drink water.Afterwards,we went to the rough road and near one of the stream we hear again one elephant.It was a young male with small tusks.He saw us and he waited until we were far enough to go along its path.We hide behind some trees and we wait for him silently.Finally the young male started to walked along but in the last moment he changed his direction and went across the forest.I could take the video that i posted in my previous post.We followed him but the animal went faster and disappeared deep inside the forest.

There were the most exciting three days in my life and i was so pleased and satisfied !! These couldn’t be possible without our expertise guide Mek.I am really thankful to him and i wished to come back again to see him and walked in one of the oldest wildlife sanctuaries in Thailand.

Next post i will put the animal tracks that we saw !!!!

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4 thoughts on “MAMMAL WATCHING IN SALAK PRA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY.APRIL 2013

  1. Use of Photo for Field Guide

    Dear David,

    I am currently developing an Encyclopedia (Field Guide) of Antelopes, Cattle and Goats: Bovids of the World.

    I may send you a linh to the project by e-mail.

    I would like to use your photo of the Indochinese Banteng (Bos javanicus birmanicus, male) at:

    Please, let me know if this is OK.The author of the photo will be credited.

    Best regards,
    Dr Jose R Castello
    info@doctorcastello.com

    • Hola Sr. Ramon,
      Le doy mi autorización para utilizar mi foto en su enciclopedia de bovidos del mundo siempre que me acredite la foto.
      Reciba un cordial saludo,

      David Cabedo

  2. Muchas gracias, David. Te he enviado un enlace a tu e-mail de yahoo. Y enhorabuena por tan fantástico Blog!

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