Kenyan conservationists are opposing a government plan to send hundreds of exotic and endangered animals to Thailand in exchange for a few Asian tigers and elephant training assistance. They believe the move will not only harm the animals, but also derail the country's tourism industry. They also doubt the expertise of Thai elephant trainers. But the government defends the deal, citing overpopulation of animals that will be traded.
The deal was worked out in 2004 when Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki visited Thailand but animal welfare activists came to know about it only recently. "It's a political decision," an official in Kibaki's office reportedly said. Kenya's noted wildlife expert Daphne Sheldrick says: "It's barbaric to transfer animals from their natural habitat to captivity...We do not need tigers. They are not indigenous animals. And training of elephants...is abuse of animals."
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.