× 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.

First jungle outing of the year in KK

4 years 6 months ago #1607 by Paul T
Just back from my first trip of the year as well. It was to Kaeng Krachan.

A two goal trip, the first to start my practicing with macro video, and the second day to take the Mae Nam Phet trail because its such a nice trail and we all needed some exercise after the christmas/new year over indulgence.

First day was macro video - less said the better, lots of lessons learned but at least my tripod issues have been resolved by the Sachtler FSB-8 I bought myself (second hand on eBay) for xmas.

Second was a delightful hike to the Mae Nam Phet with the incomparable "Jim Fish", Jonathan, and "Ed the Invisible" who was wearing so much real tree camouflage we were not entirely sure if he was there or not? That stuff really does work. The Mae Nam Phet trail is the left fork of the Thor Thip Waterfall trail and it takes you down to the old "KU Camp" site on the Mae Nam Phet. You can find the gps track elsewhere on this site, but for those who have not done it, its a 4 km downhill trek followed by a gruelling 4 km climb back up.

The forest is drying out nicely and the tally of sightings for the day included 1) female sambar 2) Kaeng Krachan's Sapria ram, a rare flowering parasite herb related to and looking like the Rafflesia but smaller 3) Dusky langur 4) gibbons (heard only) 5) the sea of mist 6) a lone dhole 7) a mouse deer. There is bound to be something else I have forgotten.

We also bumped into a lone hiker on the trail with a large rucksack (not a daypack) who had apparently not followed the NP instructions about camping in the camp site, and then two very concerned rangers who were trying to locate the same hiker. I felt really sorry for the rangers, three people were lost on this trail for 3 days last year.

The river was lovely, the water level is down and the banks are clearing. Lots of animal tracks. And slight snoring was heard to come from all 4 participants as they dozed by the babbling river, framed by lush forest and blues skies.

All together a very good start to the year and I was left with a big smile on my face and very sore legs!

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4 years 6 months ago - 4 years 6 months ago #1613 by jonathanbkk
It was a great first trip, perfect weather for walking the trails.

Adding this one after looking around to get an ID

8. Green Keelback snake/Rhabdophis nigrocinctus roadside and near the stream 1km from Ban Krang

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4 years 6 months ago #1615 by onflipflops
Nice report!

Sounds like a great trail, ... next time when I get there...
Even a Dhole and a Mouse Deer, good work!

My second trip of the year delivered better than the first, at least in terms of live animals ;).
The highlight: A Binturong in a fruiting fig tree, sadly at a rather long distance, it had rolled itself up on a branch, sleeping; leaves blocking most of the view. No decent picture opportunity, but anyway great to see!
And a surprisingly high score of snakes for the time of year. Usually the cold months are not so great, but I found a Vogel's Pit Viper perfectly blending in between the green foliage of a branch hanging over a river. Still excited about the find, I walk 5 - 10 metres further, and spotted a second one! Similar situation. Maybe I 'discovered' their preferred wintering locations. Interestingly, even though not in direct sun light, leaves blocking direct exposure by the sun, it seemed a rather warm spot, and the sun reflected in the water onto the snakes their bellies. A great way to warm up without being visible for flying predators.

Later a large Green Keelback (also known as Black-banded Keelback) moved away from the trail. And in the late afternoon number four, a Grey Kukri Snake crossed the road in daylight; uncommon snake to see!
Other nice sightings of that day included a Giant Asian Softshell Turtle, Chinese Water Dragon, and Great Hornbills.

In regards of my 2014 wishes I'm planning to visit Sa Kaeo coming weekend with another herping fanatic; test our luck on finding a Russel's Viper which is said to be quite common in that area. I'm not sure if it is a good time of year, though I've read these snakes are actually less active in the rain season, so I hope that means it is instead active in this season. Even though 100% focussing on it, I have low expectations that our first attempt is going to bring success, but well anyway I'm sure it will be fun. If we will succeed pictures will definitely follow!

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4 years 5 months ago - 11 months 4 weeks ago #1635 by jonathanbkk
well sad news to report, it seems that the American girl we saw on the trail was not found on the last day that we saw her and after a long search they found her body in the jungle with what seems to be an incident with Elephants.

Only assuming but the day the rangers were looking for her and we talked with her, she must have not been found and moved into the jungle to sleep on her own.

I did some basic research on Facebook about her and she was a claimed survivalist so its only a guess she found trouble while breaking the rules about sleeping in the jungle of KK

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4 years 5 months ago #1636 by onflipflops
That's a tragic story!

Even though I always say that I would rather die doing something I love - which in my case is being out there in the jungle looking for wildlife - than die from an ugly disease or in a road accident, it is still not something I hope to ever happen...

Seems like she had experience, and probably loves being out there; not many women go out by themselves in a jungle.
But maybe she underestimated wild elephants, or she just got caught in a herd without knowing it.
I guess she must have suffered from extreme pain before she died.
Very sad.

Last week while hiking in Khao Yai, rangers were out there looking for 2 people (Thai nationals). They had gone off into the jungle in the very early morning, and a friend or relative notified the rangers about them being lost. We could hear the rangers constantly calling for them, but apparently they had wandered off in a totally different direction. They were found later in the afternoon, and from what I've heard they both got a fine of 1000 baht. These people were lucky to have notified somebody, not sure what would have happened if nobody would have known they were out there.

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4 years 5 months ago - 4 years 5 months ago #1637 by Paul T
Its very very sad indeed Jonathan. I just shared the information with the other two of our party that day, all are in disbelief that someone we accidentally met on a trail one morning, never returned. Its quite hard to come to terms with it, she was youthful and obviously a nature lover. I am glad we spoke with her. I assumed she was returning back up the Tor Thip trail, but it would seem she had other intentions. Somehow I just wish we had talked to her some more. I don't know what about, but its sad to think of her alone, even if that was her intention.

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