Animals Abound in Khao Yai

Animals Abound in Khao Yai

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Khao Yai National Park, one of Thailand’s largest parks, is home to a unique habitat and an array on wild animals within the rainforest ecosystem. A trip to Khao Yai in cold season just may greet you with the lucky charm to see some of these endangered animal species.

Visit Nong Pak Chi trail, lookout tower, and salt lick for one of your best chances to see wild elephants in their home environment. The herd of females forms a tight knit ring around the salt lick, sheltering baby elephants inside. They graze on the iron rich soil for vitamins and minerals that their herbivorous diet does not otherwise provide. These graceful giants sway calmly as the tourists snap excitedly at seeing wild elephants. Though be careful, they are still wild animals, and we are in their environment.

Another special animals treat in Khao Yai is to see the shy gibbon. Often thought to be a monkey, but actually more closely related to us in the ape family, these graceful creatures are quite hard to find. They spend their time swinging through the tree canopy feasting on wild rambutans and figs, helping to disperse the seeds of these trees in doing so. The gibbons mournful cry can be heard throughout the day echoing through the forest, though the source of the sound is often elusive. Thai folklore tells the story of a broken hearted princess crying out for her husband, “pua pua”, searching endlessly for her mate. While gibbons usually travel in their family groups, you can still hear them calling to each other, warning and playing the day away. They swing effortlessly and peacefully through the trees, but will stop and hang motionless and silent if they sense danger.

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Khao Yai National Park is also home to proud looking Sambar deer, who stalk strongly through the open grassland areas, and sometimes forage through rubbish bins looking for leftovers. One of the ongoing problems in the park is the wild animals being attracted to human food, and rubbish, and many dead animals are found with stomachs full of plastic bags. The significantly smaller and lighter coloured barking deer trots through the thicker jungle, it’s small size and stumpy little antlers allowing it to maneuver through dense forest growth. Pig-tailed macaque are another cheeky species that enjoy stealing food, even brave enough to walk into accommodation buildings and cars!

All these animals, and more, can be seen in the serene Khao Yai National Park. The park offers several waterfalls, view points, and easy walking trails, as well as comfortable accommodation options. Khao Yai can be reached by Pak Chong gate in Nakhon Ratchasima province, or Prachinburi gate in Prachinburi. A beautiful green, fresh air weekend escape from the concrete jungle of Bangkok.

/// Written by Erin Stanley, Thailand