Camera Trap Project – Mission Footprint

Elephant Hills, 02.12.2015

Cheow Lan Lake / Khao Sok National Park – In the morning at around 8 a.m. we head off for another camera trap trek. Fully equipped with all necessities the boat takes us to the eastern part of the lake, not far from our floating Rainforest Camp. Heavy rain has raised the water level of the dam extremely and we cannot disembark at that place where we normally stop. 400 meters further we finally get off the boat and within a second all of us become very excited. We discover recent footprints of the Wild Asian Elephant. Will we get one of those rare chances in life to see a wild elephant? In that case it is definitely reassuring to know to have a specialized ranger available who accompanies our trek.

The route of our hidden camera traps, placed in Khao Sok National Park, reaches deep into the jungle and means an approximately 9 hours walk through the jungle. The route that we take is an animal corridor, a bit challenging now and then because we have to climb over big trees which are crossing our path or we have to deal with a lot of leeches. Long trousers and socks are highly recommendable!

Along our quite muddy path we see various types of animal footprints from Gaurs, Sambar deers, wild boars and as already mentioned from wild elephants. A few weeks ago when checking for our camera traps, we could only spot old footprints and dung of wild elephants. This time there are far more footprints of wild elephants including recent baby elephant ones. It’s a very positive development, because it means that the number of endangered wild elephants has increased in Khao Sok within the last few months. This also demonstrates that the nature and wildlife of Southern Thailand’s rainforest still remains unspoiled and even endangered species are rebuilding their populations in this safe haven, where they are protected from hunting and a threatened natural habitat.

Unfortunately we can’t spot any wild elephant this time, but the two troops of monkeys, a family of Dusky Langur and Stump-tailed Macaque jumping on the tree above us starts to get highly entertaining. But we hope to spot wild elephants in the near future when heading off for our next camera trap inspection. Our camera trap project has already proven to be a successful approach. Discovering recent footprints and capturing some amazing moments of free roaming wildlife offers us and our guests the possibility to learn more about our rainforest, its habitats and future development.

After an exciting and revealing day we get back to the Rainforest Camp at around 17.00 p.m., muddy and drenched of some rain, but satisfied due to our positive observational outcome.

 

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