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Animals in Thailand

Thailand‘s fauna is similarly specious as its rich flora, especially regarding small animals and insects. The habitat for deer, which used to be plentiful, is disappearing due to  human expansion. Some species are already extinct and many others are threatened by extinction.
The biggest living mammal on earth, the Elephant, can be found in the Thai-Burmese border area, in Khao Sok National Park, in Kuiburi National Park, and in the national parks in the northeast of Thailand. Only about 4000 animals remain to roam  freely through the forests. The population of working elephants is maintained by the offspring of already domesticated animals.
The small Sumatra Rhinoceros seems to have disappeared from the forests. For decades, it used to be unscrupulously hunted, because according to Chinese tradition, his milled horn had high aphrodisiac powers. A similar fate awaits the pangolin. The scales of the one-metre armored and hunchbacked animal could be his destiny, because they supposedly contain a healing remedy.
Bears and Big Cats
Asian black bears and big cats such as leopards and tigers only sneak very rarely through several national parks. Normally they do not appear, which seems to be more agreeable for normal park visitors. The tapir is seen very seldom too. This heavy, black and white colored animal hides in the dense jungle and only during the night does it go out in search of food. 

Tiger footprint (Khao Sok)
Less shy however, are the monkeys, which can be often observed.  Gibbons can move very fast with their long arms through the thicket of the jungle.
At the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project on Phuket, where the Gibbons grew up with humans, they are slowly integrated back into the the life in the jungle.
Monkeys which can swim and even dive are the Macaques. Domesticated Macaques are kept by the people of southern Thailand as “harvest helpers“ and they are sent up palm trees to collect the coconuts.

Auch ein Bad im Fluss scheuen sie nicht, um ihr Futter zu erhaschen.
Macaques are often seen around the many temples in Thailand, for example at the Khao Wang and at the cave Khao Luang in Petchaburi. Begging the tourist for food, they can get aggressiv, if they don´t get what they want. In Khao Sok Nationalpark lives a big family in the rocks behind the Swimming Hole. Around lunch time they climb down from their rocks to get fed with bananas by the tourists. They are not afraid to take even a swim in the river to get their food.

A large family of Langur monkeys lives in a monastery near Pathio in Chumphon province. They look quite funny with the white hair around the eyes, so Thais call them the monkeys with glasses.

Macaque at the
 Khao Luang Cave

Langur monkeys near Pathio

Beach- Macaques
Most of the snakes found in Thailand are nonvenomous: only a handful of species are really dangerous. If you are  interested in learning about snakes, visit the snake farm of the Pasteur Institute in Bangkok. Among the well known poisonous land reptiles is the great king cobra, which is over 4 metres long and the smaller Siamese cobra, the chain viper, at up to 75 centimetres and the shocking yellow-black striped krait. There are five poisonous species living in coastal waters
Fortunately, they are rarely aggressive and only have a tiny mouth so  are hardly dangerous for humans. The net python is a nonvenomous snake living mainly in the monsoon forests and can reach a length of up to 11 meters. It kills its prey by strangling.
Cattle and Buffalo
Wild living cattles are almost extincted, like the enormous Gaur and the smaller, but more frequently ssen Banteng, who have their habitat in the monsoon forests in North- and East Thailand. There were a few specimens spotted just recently in the Nationalpark of Khao Sok.
Water Buffalos are seen everywhere, especially in rural areas. They still are the most important Livestock for Thai people.
Maritime Life
The rivers, lakes and coastal waters of Thailand are abundant  with life, this can be witnessed during snorkeling or diving. Even a stroll around the local market gives an idea of the huge diversity in fish and maritime life. Over 100 different species of carp-like fish alone can be found in Thai waters. Crocodiles, however, are rarely found in the wild. The last breeding places of the big sea turtles are protected on the islands in the Tarutao National Park situated off the south west coast.
The rain and monsoon forest including the tropical climate create ideal living conditions for all kinds of insects. Among the loudest ones are the Cicadas, which start their concert punctually at dawn. Numerous colorful butterflies abound. Less pleasant are cockroaches and mosquitoes, the latter are devoured with huge appetite by small geckos. This swift gray lizard is  very popular with Thai people.
Thailand has a huge number of birds that can be observed in all habitats, even in the gardens of resorts.

Many of the birds living in Thailand follow the change of the monsoons. Besides warblers and marsh-birds, the black plumed koel belongs to the most known migratory birds. Herons, cranes and storks stalking in search for food in rice fields and can be easily observed. The blue shimmering ice bird usually hunts its prey close to the course of the rivers.
In Thailands forests many of the birds live in the tree tops of the jungle trees. In the mornings the Hornbill flies impressively through the trees along the shoreline of the Chiew Lan Lake at the Khao Sok Nationalpark.

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