× Over 400 species of birds are known to occur within the Park’s boundaries, and 57 mammals. Larger mammals include elephant, gaur, sambar deer, banteng, serow, and bear, indo-chinese tiger, leopard, both common and Fea’s muntjac. Malayan tapir, white-handed gibbon, dusky and banded langurs, Asian wild dog, otter, and wild boar.

Food for thought

03 Feb 2016 13:21 - 03 Feb 2016 14:02 #3397 by Geoff Potter
Geoff Potter created the topic: Food for thought
This bear is now being fed regularly in KKC and is out most evenings in the scout camp opposite Bang Krang camp. Fried fish and rice seem to be its preferred diet.

Any thoughts?

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03 Feb 2016 13:58 - 03 Feb 2016 17:04 #3398 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: Food for thought
Just saw the video on Facebook as well. IMHO should be stopped and made sure no one can continue with it. If it continues the animal will get confused and then an accident is on the cards.

Strangely enough - has anyone noticed a "friendly" pied hornbill in Baan Krang as well? I figure it has habituation issues as well. Last weekend one climbed into the back of my covered pickup and climbed inside my wellington boot and then spent 15 minutes sat on my open door.

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03 Feb 2016 14:10 #3400 by rushenb
rushenb replied the topic: Food for thought
This one yes.. Released from captivity.. I was very surprised when it flew and landed on kitchen wall.. I approached like up to couple of meters.. Than I heard from people what it was about.

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03 Feb 2016 14:12 #3401 by rushenb
rushenb replied the topic: Food for thought
... and. I really don't like the idea of a bear being fed. I don't even like to photo those porcupines behind the kitchen, it doesn't look natural.
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03 Feb 2016 14:39 #3403 by Geoff Potter
Geoff Potter replied the topic: Food for thought
The issue here is that the bear is going to associate people with food, then its just a matter of time before it enters the campsite. This kind of thing is a huge problem in North America and I am afraid that if the KKC officials don't do something about it someone could be seriously injured.

Hope its not me, do bears like beer?

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04 Feb 2016 09:55 #3404 by bootly66
bootly66 replied the topic: Food for thought

Geoff Potter wrote: The issue here is that the bear is going to associate people with food, then its just a matter of time before it enters the campsite. This kind of thing is a huge problem in North America and I am afraid that if the KKC officials don't do something about it someone could be seriously injured.

Hope its not me, do bears like beer?

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04 Feb 2016 10:03 #3405 by bootly66
bootly66 replied the topic: Food for thought
I have seen some pics of the bear today, obviously taken during daylight hours... This really does create an issue of the bear taking a stroll through the campsite..If the bear did become aggressive and attack (or defending it's territory) what would be the best course of action?? I read that a bear will retreat at the sound of gunfire, and was just thinking with Chinese new year coming up ,maybe a waterproof box with a few of them firecrackers may be a worthwhile addition to the kit..

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04 Feb 2016 11:00 #3406 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Food for thought
Totally agree this should be stopped immediately!
I noticed quite a few pictures on FB, but since it all seemed the same location I assumed it was the same sighting.
Though today again I saw new pictures in different light, and video, better pictures which made me wonder why the photographer did not post these instead of the first ones. But now it makes sense, as it is more than one sighting.

Please express your concerns about this with the rangers, I guess especially P'Pong at Ban Krang, perhaps some accompanying pictures from American Black Bears breaking into cars or even injuring people would help...
Feeding porcupines is one thing (not that I totally agree), but feeding bears is another!
I will be there in a week or so, and will definitely bring this up. If everybody shares his opinion with the rangers, the more likely something will be done. Or basically, the thing is, nothing should be done, meaning: no feeding!
At the same time I will most likely be a hypocrite and have a look to see if it shows up...
I am not really fond of the porcupine feeding spot, but at least so far that's mostly only visited by some rodents, civets and late at night jackals. In a way it is nice people have an easy opportunity to see some wild creatures, which is also part of awareness - learning what lives in these forests -, but it's not a zoo. And actually the rangers set a wrong example with it. If they do it, how can they possibly judge visitors to do the same in front of their tent?
It surprises me that the leaf monkeys still show little interest in the people. Maybe they are just not as bad as macaques...

Anyhow, increasing tourist numbers will slowly make wildlife more habituated to the human presence, which in general I think is not a bad thing. Like visible in all major parks in the world, e.g. the Kruger park in Africa, where the lions couldn't care less if you park 1 metre next to them. It has nothing to do with people feeding them. It is simply, as soon as hunting stops (at least in tourist areas), and a large number of people continue to visit daily without truly bothering the animals, it will make the animals more relaxed and learn that people don't do them any harm. Some would argue it is not natural if an animal is not scared of people, but humans have evolved from hunters into farmers over the ages so we are no longer 'predators' (generally speaking ;-) ), so there is no reason for the animals to fear (most) humans, so it IS natural. A deer also doesn't run when an elephant walks nearby. Simply, because it knows the elephant won't harm it. As soon as elephants start to evolve in predators hunting for deer, surely no deer will stand by to watch an elephant get closer.
Same is visible in Khao Yai where many gibbon families are habituated either due to tourist presence, or most likely actually started by the presence of researchers.
It is not necessarily a bad thing. It basically means the animals will be less stressed, and just continue with their normal behaviour, instead of having to flee in fear.
But to speed this process by feeding, is not the right way.
There is a big difference between being habituated simply due to presence of humans and learning we don't attack them, and being habituated due to feeding which will turn the animals into beggars and thiefs.

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14 Feb 2016 19:04 #3421 by Geoff Potter
Geoff Potter replied the topic: Food for thought
I had a chat to P'Pong over the weekend and told him what I thought but he looked less than convinced. Meanwhile the photographers are still there day and night and the bear has now started overturning dustbins in the scout camp causing a huge mess apparently.

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15 Feb 2016 11:03 #3425 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Food for thought
My wife & me also discussed this with him and he told us a handful of foreigners had expressed their worried feelings about this case (good to hear!) .
I had the feeling he was now getting more worried. Especially because yesterday morning around 6:30AM I saw the bear (which I presume is the same individual) cross the road right near the camping at the big fig tree. I feared it was heading in the direction of the 'porcupine' spot behind the restaurant, but it disappeared into the forest behind there.
I hope that helps P'Pong getting more nervous, now it is getting closer to the main camp; luckily he has a general fear for almost all wildlife, haha.
He immediately cleaned up the few food scrapes at the 'porcupine' spot, when he heard about our bear sighting.
But the question is if anything will be done. I guess the photographers all want their shots, and P'Pong is maybe a bit too soft to stop this from happening.

Saturday morning (not too early) I walked by the spot where it has been showing up, there was no food at that point.
And I think there were no groups staying at the youth camp this weekend. So if any images show up from this weekend of a bear eating anything, it must have been brought in by the photographers.... I did notice a bunch of cars came out late in the dark on Saturday night. I don't know if they got to see it. At least I am quite sure they probably did not see it Sunday morning, because the cars had only just gone in, when I spotted the bear cross the road, walking in opposite direction.

Let's hope either the rangers put an end to this, or that the bear just decides to not return...

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20 Feb 2016 14:01 #3437 by Geoff Potter
Geoff Potter replied the topic: Food for thought
The bear was not just crossing the road, it was heading for the back of the restaurant where is now a daily visitor.

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22 Feb 2016 19:33 #3439 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Food for thought
Yes, so I heard. We received an image on Line from P'Pong.
It did not visit the restaurant that morning. But it was just a matter of time for this to happen.
And one day it will be IN the kitchen!
Let's hope nobody, including the bear, gets hurt...

Unless the whole 'feeding' thing will stop, it probably needs to be darted someday and carried far from its home.

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26 Mar 2016 14:06 #3594 by Robby L
Robby L replied the topic: Food for thought
There are problems elsewhere with this sort of thing. At Huai Kha Khang as well as the monkeys raiding camps in the daytime we had wild pigs at night.

Earlier this month at Chong Yen we had a Yellow-throated Marten in our camp looking for food and were told that Civets had also been raiding camps.

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18 Dec 2016 11:20 - 18 Dec 2016 11:22 #4109 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: Food for thought
Heres a bizarre tale (in reference to the original post by Geoff and the bear at Kaeng Krachan) ..... I am having hard time believing it myself except that it was me!!!

Some of you know already that I don't use a tent but a hammock with a mosquito net, and have a fly sheet over the top for inclement weather. If you see the setup from the side you cannot see the hammock because its nestled right into the top of the flysheet apex.

So 3 weeks ago I was camping at Baan Krang - I was having great nights sleep strung between two trees close the little walled Sala at the western end of Baan Krang. I had had my customary night cap or three and the weather was nice and chilly so I was sleeping as happy as Larry probably snoring as well for all the world to enjoy. Sometime in the early morning hours I rolled over and looked out of the mosquito netting expecting to see the flysheet but I saw the face of a bear staring back at me! I tried to shout at it but my words just came out mumbled, I was a bit panicky. And then I woke. I proverbially shook myself off put it down to a nightcap too many and went off back to sleep.

A little later, back in the land of nod, and something was suddenly pushing me up and down from below. Up and down, up and down. I started shouting, but again the shouts would not come out, I struggled to form words or create volume, I was confused. I then woke again from my nightmare to realize that I was shouting a common but very rude expletive, again and again - the one telling "someone to go away". Well I sat in the hammock not knowing whether I was more dazed or embarrassed - I had just become a poster boy for the "All Farangs are Baa Society" - I could imagine the shocked campers wondering why was some crazy farang telling everyone to "FO" in the middle of night? Baa!

I was definitely going to have to change the brand of my favored nightcap - It was having a strange effect on me.

But then .....................

This Friday night (Dec 16) I had set up the hammock inside the little walled Sala as it had been raining most of the day. Obviously inside the Sala I did not need to use the flysheet. I had a great nights sleep and woke about 4:45 and just lay contemplating life in the hammock. The rest of my buddies were due in at 6:30 so no need to rush. I was looking west, the wall of the Sala gave a black base to my view as did the Sala roof a black top, but in between the moon was backlighting the opening and gave me a great view of the tree's silhouettes and the night sky.

I then heard a shuffling and a black rounded shape started to raise from the wall's silhouette, it kept rising and getting bigger. Then two "hands" appeared and a body of what ever it was tried to hitch itself over the Sala wall and join me inside.

I realized I was staring straight in the face of a bear not more then 3 feet way, trying to get a look at what was inside the hammock! I was dumbstruck - I was wide awake but didn't dare make a sound as it was so close - I was scared of startling it but every synapse in my brain was shouting "please, please, please go away". And I must be blessed because he/she decided for some reason that getting into the Sala was not such good idea and back shuffled down the wall and off he/she went. I nearly took up religion at that moment - a prayer not uttered but answered all the same.

It was 5.11 am.

So now I know that my nightmares of 3 weeks ago were not a dream - I was woken, and at that time the bear was under the flysheet with me and touching me!!

I went to tell the rangers in the morning and they said it had been in the camp every night this week. It seems benign, just searching for food - but not a good thing.

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18 Dec 2016 12:37 #4110 by rushenb
rushenb replied the topic: Food for thought
Very funny and scary read.. But, the bear(s) moving around in the campsite, we were all expecting this to happen soon or later. The question wasn't if, but when it would happen.

Seeing bear, porcupine, jackal and monkey in same frame, nearly nose-to-nose eating without fighting, one may think little chance that bear may attack someone.. But who knows?

By the way, people has also seen a leopard next to a tent lately.

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18 Dec 2016 14:08 #4111 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: Food for thought

rushenb wrote:
By the way, people has also seen a leopard next to a tent lately.


That the second time I have heard of that - Geoff told me about an incident with a leopard sat outside someone's tent about two years ago as well.

It makes you wonder what else comes in under the cover of darkness.

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18 Dec 2016 14:30 #4112 by rushenb
rushenb replied the topic: Food for thought
As long as it is not an elephant with itchy arse trying to itch on my tent I am fine!

Not sure if Ton posted about an incident lately at Huai Kha Khaeng that an elephant attacked a tent and someone got rib injuries.. The campsite and restaurant there is now "permanently" closed, although Ton lately heard rumours at least the restaurant may get open.

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18 Dec 2016 19:13 #4113 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Food for thought
We spent a week on the camp at the beginning of this month. We stayed in the bigger sala in the South-eastern corner of the camp. And suddenly in the evening we heard something moving around in the forest behind the sala.
And when I shined my torch, there it was, the famous Sun Bear.
I am sure he knew we were there, but it was not bothered and moved closer and it was just looking around for food right at the slope pretty much under the sala.
Another night there was a group of students camping out nearby the sala, and the bear came to visit.
After that incident the boss of Ban Krang, P'Phong told they would stop with leaving foodscrapes behind the kitchen.
Though I haven't been there the last week so not sure if he has followed up on his words.
The only thing I know is that people have still seen the bear last week, but of course it would take a while for it to stop showing up if there is no longer food available.

We all knew this was going to happen, and we have already warned the rangers in the very beginning of this year when it was only showing at the youth camp area. But I know especially back then there has been the unspoken 'pressure' of the regular visitors, the local bird/ nature photographers, that all wanted their pics.
I suppose by now all the locals should have their pics, unless they want more action of a bear attacking a person.

I agree with Rushen that this bear shows no signs of aggression.
Over the course of the months it has seen lots of people getting very close. But it has clearly learned that these people do not do him any harm. So I do not think it will attack out of nothing. But like in your situation, where you are accidentely so close without knowing, it could happen that at some point somebody startles it and that it becomes defensive and use its huge paws to teach the person a lesson.
Let's hope this won't happen, but I also really hope that the rangers follow up on these events and stop the feeding, or possibly relocate it. Honestly, I would prefer the 'stop feeding' part, because relocating will cause a lot of stress not only in capturing, but also when it is dropped in a for him unknown territory where it does not know the way. BUt maybe it is already too late, so maybe relocating is the only option.

Also, the whole charm of a wild Sun Bear sighting is now gone.
In the past if lucky I would perhaps see a Sun Bear maximum two times per year. And everytime that has been special. This year I have had two wild encounters, both in KK. In July we saw 2 on km18 trail in heavy rain running across the trail. The first one stopped, looked at us and then continued when the 2nd one appeared. The last sighting was in this same week beginning of this month when we heard one singing(!) in the forest more towards Panoen Thung area. I had never heard a Sun Bear before, but I had once heard Asian Black Bears communicating in KY, and even though this sounded slightly different, it was soon clear to me this sound could be a bear. And then we spotted it in the jungle breaking a rotten log in search for grubs. Still it felt special to see it deep in the jungle, but upon returning at Ban Krang for lunch, there was the 'camping bear' just happily walking around like a pet dog, haha. Such a different experience.

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18 Dec 2016 19:28 #4114 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Food for thought
BTW, about the Ban Krang Leopard sightings. Yes I know the leopards do get this close, and I know people who have seen leopard at the camp ground, though I also think that you can not always believe all sightings.
I am sure that many visitors would confuse e.g. a Large Indian Civet for a leopard especially at night in low light.
On the other hand, we did find a kill (remains of muntjac) between the camp and first river crossing, which I believe might have fallen prey to a leopard. And with my forensic skills, haha (the flies were still present), this could have happened around the dates that someone saw a leopard at the camp, in the last week of November.

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