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    The Indochinese Tiger – Part Two: How I capture tigers on film and digital

    Notes from the field: The wizardry of modern technology

    Tiger posing in a waterhole in Huai Kha Khaeng

    I arrived in Thailand in 1964 and took an immediate liking to the wildlife and forests of the Kingdom. Since then I have consistently visited many wilderness areas, and I can say the tiger is the most difficult of all the Asian creatures to see or photograph. I have only seen two tigers in all those years although I have come upon many tracks left by the big cats. These magnificent carnivores are now rare and hence, very difficult to capture on film and digital. However, the wizardry of modern technology has given me an edge.


    Tiger camera-trapped in Kaeng Krachan

    My first sighting of a tiger was in Sai Yok National Park in Kanchanburi province along the western border with Burma more than 15 years ago, and my second in Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Santuary in Uthai Thani province just last year. Western Thailand is probably the best place where tigers can be seen in the wild. Luck would have to be the number one element but photo equipment, know-how and location also come into play.


    Tiger camera-trapped at night by the Phetchaburi River

    The first was a fleeting glimpse of tiger deep in the forest of Sai Yok as I was sitting in a tree blind overlooking a large stream and mineral deposit, waiting for gaur that never came. Early one morning, I heard an animal jumping across the stream behind me. I took a quick look back and saw a sleek cat slide down the opposite bank. I went down at noon and looked at the tracks left neatly in the sand but quickly went back up. It was a close encounter with a real wild animal capable of taking man down in a split second. As I was up in a tree, I assured myself I would be safe.

    After that, the urge to capture a tiger on film became an obsession and I finally decided to build my own camera-traps. I had the basic machining skills acquired after almost two decades of working as a rig mechanic in the oilfield, and before that the logging and heavy equipment industry. I have a small machine shop with a milling machine and assorted tools at home in Chiang Mai. I used a commercial camera-trap as the basis for my homemade ‘game or trail cameras’ as they are now called in the U.S. where a big business is flourishing.


    The same tiger a few seconds later

    My first camera-traps used passive infrared sensor boards purchased from ‘Radio Shack’ while I was back on vacation in the States. My close friend Yuthana Anantawala from Chiang Mai was working for Unocal in the Gulf of Thailand as an electrician, and he helped me wire up several ‘point & shoot’ film cameras to the electronic boards. I built the housings out of ‘TIG’ welded aluminum boxes and machined the case flat to incorporate a faceplate attached with machine screws for a tight seal.


    A feral cat walking the wall behind my shop using a film camera-trap

    Sealing and protecting the delicate electronics of the camera, board and batteries against moisture was the number one priority; silicon sealant forms a gasket to seal the case and is available everywhere, and silica gel (desiccant) in a small plastic bag to absorb any moisture was the trick. The first ones were simple and worked quite well. I tested them out the back of my shop where domestic and feral cats walked on a wall.


    A black cat caught by digital camera-trap

    In mid-2003, I set six camera-traps in Sai Yok along wildlife trails and waterholes. After four months, I finally got my first tiger, and then a second cat a few days later up on a 600-meter ridgeline. It was the beginning of a program to catch the striped cat on film. Other animals caught were elephant, sambar, barking deer, wild dogs, wild pigs, serow and stumped-tailed macaque. I even managed to catch a water monitor on one camera.

    One of those original film cameras is still working in the field and I call it ‘Tiger Cam’ as it captured my second tiger. The following is a strange but true story about these encounters.

    Notes from the field: My lucky number eleven.

    When you play the dice game ‘craps’, the number eleven is a winner for money, but you loose the dice and the next throw. The following story is about my ‘number eleven’ – two very lucky photographs, but getting them almost cost me my life. It was November 2003 while working in Sai Yok. My team and I had just set a string of camera-traps deep in the interior of the protected area. As we were leaving camp, the cook asked me for a lucky number. I had just lifted my camp chair, which left an impression in the soft dirt like the number eleven, and so I shouted out to the boys that the lucky number was eleven.


    My first tiger by camera-trap in Sai Yok National Park

    A month later, we returned to check on the cameras and change film. One camera had recorded an old male tiger on the 11th day of the 11th month (photo above). The shot is very dark but a tiger can be seen on the left. Another camera (Tiger Cam) caught a young male tiger up on a 600-meter ridgeline on November 15th at 16.11pm (below). This photo was the real beginning of my attempt to photograph the carnivore.


    My second tiger camera-trapped in Sai Yok a few days later

    However, just after that, I became ill with the deadly Plasmodium falciparum (cerebral malaria) that almost killed me. The only thing that saved me was a medical procedure practiced here in Thailand for patients with severe malaria called a ‘blood exchange transfusion’. I stayed in the hospital for nine days and it was a slow recovery. I was lucky to survive. I will write a thread about that ordeal one day for TD and all the dangers of working in a Thai forest.

    Some may argue that it was just a coincidence that 11 was recorded on both shots, but I like to believe the ‘spirits of the forest’ had finally answered my prayers. Ever since then, my luck has been a great roller-coaster ride in the exciting field of wildlife photography, publishing two books in English and Thai. Wild Rivers, my third book project, is just a continuation of a dream I had in Sai Yok more than 20 years ago, but that is another story.

    Notes from the field: Camera-trapping continued


    Tiger named '4-spots' camera-trapped in many areas of Kaeng Krachan National Park

    In 2004, I moved further south to Kaeng Krachan National Park in Phetchaburi province, southwest Thailand and began a new program with some generous financial support from World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Thailand) and in cooperation with the Department of National Parks (DNP). A presence/absence program was initiated at two areas in the park. Within a few months, I managed to catch a big male tiger and several leopards on an old logging road about 10 kilometers from the main gate. The other area was along the Phetchaburi River deep in the interior.

    Over a period of three years, both cat species were caught on film in Kaeng Krachan consistently. The felines were in abundance. Leopards in both black and yellow phase were captured. The tiger and leopard have overlapping territories and hunt during the day and night. One tiger named ‘4-spots’ was consistently trapped in many areas of the park. I also managed to photograph a fishing cat, a rare occurrence. Other animals trapped were elephant, gaur, sambar, Fea’s muntjac, common muntjac, sun bear, fishing cat, banded linsang and striped palm civet among others like Indian civet, porcupine and fish-owl.


    Tiger caught head-on in Kaeng Krachan

    It was a tremendous experience seeing all these exotic animals thriving in their natural habitat, and I looked forward to scrutinizing every roll of film. But it must be mentioned that there were many failures with equipment and even theft. I lost four cameras in Kaeng Krachan to poachers that probably had their photo taken and scared them. They actually bashed them until they busted open and chopped one out of a banyan type tree root.

    I dropped the program, as it was a very expensive loss including the cameras, gas, food and labor, plus whatever photos were lost. I do plan on returning to the Phetchaburi River one day but with much more robust camera housings hopefully to prevent further loss.

    I then moved to Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary hoping to put my traps to work in a more tightly protected area. It did not take long to capture tiger and leopard, plus gaur, banteng, elephant, and many other creatures living in this World Heritage Site. And, I never lost a camera. From time to time, I still set traps in the sanctuary always hoping for a magical sighting of the big cats and other wonderful animals found here.


    Tiger caught with new digital camera-trap in Kaeng Krachan

    Finally, the ‘digital camera-trap’ age has arrived. In November 2008 armed with a new digital camera-trap, a tiger (above) was caught in a salt lick not far from the main gate in Kaeng Krachan. It was an early morning shot of a mature cat and the first record of a tiger in a mineral deposit in the park. Prior to that, it was always thought the predator hunted around the peripheral of mineral licks that attracted the herbivores.

    Kaeng Krachan and Kui Buri national parks have Thailand’s second best population of tigers and leopards, and both remain some of the top protected areas where they still survive and breed. I now have about 12 of the new model digital traps working in the field.

    There are three companies in the United States that specialize in passive infrared boards, and one company that offers active infrared controllers. I have listed web-address at the end of this thread in the event someone has a hankering to build a homemade camera-trap. The websites are very informative but it does require some extensive searching to get good information. Instructive data on modifying cameras and building your own camera-trap is listed.

    It is not easy finding the right secondhand Sony, Nikon, Olympus or Pentax digital models at used camera shops or pawnshops anymore. They do float in and out of one place at the very end of Chinatown’s Yawalat Road on the right hand side of the road that sells second hand camera and video stuff. Make sure you thoroughly check the camera out, and even then, it might turn into a dud. The most popular camera for trail units is the Sony S600 digital with a 6-megapixel sensor and a Carl Zeiss lens. They take very good daytime photos and fair pictures at night.

    There is of course no warranty after a camera has been ‘hacked’; the terminology used for a camera wired up to a sensor board. And finally, many cameras do not work; only a few models listed by the board manufactures do. It takes skilled electrician lots of intricate work to get these boards and cameras working properly. I have spent loads of time and money on building camera-traps, but also have collected a large library of images of some very interesting, elusive and endangered animals to compensate the cost.

    Notes from the field: “A tiger through the lens, and my lucky number 11”.


    Waterhole in Huai Kha Khaeng attracts many animals including the tiger

    Good things sometimes come our way and I was about to get a reward to coincide with ‘2010 - The Year of the Tiger’. The absolute chronology of being at the right place, the right time with the right equipment and the right technique was played out before my eyes. On the 11th of December 2009 (my lucky number again), the tiger in the lead photo and I crossed paths.


    Tiger strolling into the waterhole

    The trail through dry dipterocarp forest takes about 45 minutes to walk to a photographic blind set above a waterhole deep in the interior of Huai Kha Khaeng. The flimsy structure made of bamboo sits about two meters off the ground and is attached to a tree. Black mesh closes off the cubicle on all four sides that was erected by the park rangers. An opening large enough for a big lens allows a clear view of the waterhole some 30 meters downhill to a saucer shaped depression.


    Tiger taking in minerals

    This water supply attracts many creatures such as elephant, gaur, banteng and other ungulates like sambar and wild pig, especially during the dry season. Tiger, leopard and Asian wild dog also come looking for prey. It is truly a magical place and a tribute to Thailand’s natural biodiversity. Arriving about 12pm, I immediately set-up my cameras and then waited. Feeling dozy about 2pm, I strung my hammock for a bit of a snooze after the long haul from Bangkok. The afternoon passed-by and about 5pm I got up and began a vigil of the mineral lick.


    Tiger looking back at my position

    A few minutes later I decided to actually sit behind my Nikon 400mm f 2.8 lens and D700 camera, and do some adjustments to compensate for the fading light. Took a few test shots to make sure the exposure was correct and then waited. Two minutes later, the dream of a lifetime unfolded before me. A striped carnivore magically and silently appeared from the forest on my right. The tiger walked straight down to a little stream for a quick drink. The mature male did not linger and continued on his way. However, he did pause briefly to stare up at my position three different times before disappearing into the forest on my left. Total time spent by the cat at the waterhole was less than a minute.


    Tiger on the move

    I was lucky to have been sitting down with my hands on my lap in front of my camera. If I had been standing, or made just the slightest noise, I would have never seen this old male. I was extremely fortunate to snap 20 frames as this magnificent creature carried on its way. I banged my head against my camera in disbelief to make sure I was not dreaming. The ultimate photograph for me was now in the bag so to speak.


    Tiger's last look

    Notes from the field: Camera equipment and technical elements

    In order to photograph these elusive predators or any other large mammals or birds for that matter, a large lens (400mm to 600mm) and a semi-pro to pro camera body from any of the big guns like Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Olympus, Sigma and Leica is needed. A tripod and a shutter release is an absolute must for sharp shots. It must be understood though that this equipment is expensive.


    Tiger tracks by the Phetchaburi River in Kaeng Krachan

    I set my Nikon camera to aperture priority (auto), an appropriate ISO depending on the time of day or the light (normally 400 ISO), and the white balance to ‘cloudy’ with an f-stop of 5.6 with minus -7 compensation. This gives me a good starting point and I can quickly change these settings or compensation for the ever-changing light in the forest.


    Tiger habitat in Kaeng Krachan

    After 15 years of wildlife photography, my aspiration to photograph a tiger through the lens has finally come true. However, in closing and it does need repeating; the powers to be (the government) must come up with much better management plans for saving not only the tiger but all the rest of wild animals and ecosystems that evolved over millions of years. It is hoped my photographs of the tiger and other amazing Thai animals will create conservation awareness, so that the destructive process of modernization and humanization can be slowed if not stopped. The Kingdom’s natural resources are irreplaceable and time is running out!


    Camera-trap units and equipment manufacturers:

    The following companies specialize in camera-trap electronic infrared boards plus equipment, complete units and knowhow (listed below). I recommend these as the best but there is a rip-off or two with loads of empty promises, lots of jargon and does not deliver on their promises, so beware. Due to possible litigation, I am not at liberty to say who they are so please do not ask. When you see a lot of rambling on about how good they are, think before buying. I know because they burned me with boards that did not work and then would not be responsible for the poor quality and/or replacements. There are also complete camera-trap units available from quite a few manufacturers but are quite expensive for the good ones. The cheap ones do not stand up to the tough conditions of most Thai forests. Importing them into Thailand can also be costly with shipping and taxes. The main reason why I build my own.

    Passive infrared boards:
    Yeticam.com - BJOutdoors.com - Snapshotsniper.com

    Active and passive infrared controllers for cameras like Nikon and Canon

    TrailMaster.com

    Completed camera-trap units are also available: For an in depth overview on trail cameras check out ‘Trailcampro.com’

    Pixcontroller.com – Camtrakker.com – Moultrie.com – Cuddleback.com – Reconyx.com (the quickest trail camera on the market) and many others via for market share.

    Some final words: If you live near a forest in Thailand, chances are there might be some cryptic wild species still living there. But mostly and unfortunately, domestic plus feral dogs and cats can be found in many of these small patches of wilderness, and unfortunately take everything they can catch and eat. I once camera-trapped feral dogs at 2,300 meters above seal level in Doi Inthanon National Park in Chiang Mai. It was a very disappointing discovery, and I only felt remorse for all the beautiful creatures struggling to live in this high-montane forest.

    The frustrations, expenses and difficulty of photographing wildlife vanish when I view my work, and that keeps me going after those elusive tigers and other cryptic species. My latest success is a camera-trap photo of a marbled cat (poor night-time photo but good record shot) down south in Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary. This location is very deep in the protected area and I plan to do some serious work here to catch this beautiful marked predator, as they are very endangered and difficult to observe in the forest.

    I am now working on more sophisticated camera-traps using SLR (film and digital) pro-cameras with good lenses and multiple flashes for improved photo quality. I will be posting a thread concerning this new camera-trap work at a later date. It is truly an exciting experience when one sees film or digital files with wild animals going about their daily lives as nature intended. It makes everything worthwhile.
    Last edited by Bruce Kekule; 10-08-2010 at 10:14 PM.

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat Johnny Longprong's Avatar
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    Great story Bruce, and the captures are impressive. I haven't been lucky enough myself to yet pass tracks with a Tiger in the wild. In fact I am not so brave.

    I was interested in your "lucky number 11". I take it that you are acquainted with the modern history of the Sai Yok region and it's connection with the allied prisoners of war in that region. To those gentlemen the 11th day of the 11th month would of been of considerable significance.

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    I think few people have the dedication you so clearly possess, Bruce.

    This is most impressive and no doubt the explanation why I shall never succeed in getting captures such as yours.

    Thanks for sharing your story!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Longprong View Post
    Great story Bruce, and the captures are impressive. I haven't been lucky enough myself to yet pass tracks with a Tiger in the wild. In fact I am not so brave.

    I was interested in your "lucky number 11". I take it that you are acquainted with the modern history of the Sai Yok region and it's connection with the allied prisoners of war in that region. To those gentlemen the 11th day of the 11th month would of been of considerable significance.
    Johnny L., Thank you for your kind words. Sometimes I wonder myself if I'm that brave. I have had a few close-encounters that got the old heart a thumping.

    Will look into the "11th day of the 11th month' deal. I actually visited 'Hellfire Pass' a couple of weeks ago. I'm going to Sai Yok for some new camera-trap work very soon and will stop by and learn more about that history. Thanks again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pescator View Post
    I think few people have the dedication you so clearly possess, Bruce.

    This is most impressive and no doubt the explanation why I shall never succeed in getting captures such as yours.

    Thanks for sharing your story!
    Pescator,

    Appreciate very much your kind words. I've got loads of photos and stories and believe that sharing with others will help wildlife conservation and awareness over the long run. The more out there, the better the chance for survival of Thailand's wildlife and forests. Thanks again for your interest.

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    Spooky - the tiger I saw was at 11 minutes past 11

    to prove I am not making that up............

    http://teakdoor.com/thailands-nation...reatest-5.html (A photo expedition to one of Thailand’s greatest National Parks)

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    Quote Originally Posted by pangsida View Post
    Spooky - the tiger I saw was at 11 minutes past 11

    to prove I am not making that up............

    http://teakdoor.com/thailands-nation...reatest-5.html (A photo expedition to one of Thailand’s greatest National Parks)
    Pangsida,

    Great story that and I guess 11 is the trick number. It surely is for me. Now when I see an 11, I usually think about tigers?? Hoping to do more work where they are surviving like Kaeng Krachan and Kui Buri national parks in the near future. Freeland (formally Wild Aid and Phuen Ba) are doing some camera-trap work in Thap Lan and I believe they will be working with Pang Sida soon. Hopefully, tigers are hanging on in these two World Heritage Sites so that with increased protection, the big cats can thrive. Only time will tell.

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    Absolutely fantastic photos. Some of the guys here in Oz use similar technology to capture deer, kangaroos etc. In some cases, they use the mobile network to upload the stills instantly... obviously relies on being in an area with a cellular network though.

    With respect to cerebral malaria, our company almost lost two employees from it in Africa. One of the employees was found paralyzed in his bed, had to be airlifted to hospital and we were told if he'd been found an hour later, he would not have made it. Nasty stuff.

    Any suggestions on a good general SLR camera and lens combo for someone who has spent a lot of time with the more compact cameras, and wants to move onto something more serious given the limitations of the compacts?

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    I am a long-time lurker on This board, and a frequent overnight visitor to Khao Yai.

    This is one of the best and most interesting posts I have ever read on a web board. Many thanks for your hard work and for actually posting this.

    Have you not had any luck with tigers in Khao Yai?

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    Bruce, thank you again!

    Its too bad that every school age child in Thailand cannot see these two threads. They have no idea of the wonders surrounding them and their adult mentors could care less. Educating the yung ons will be the key to whether or not these species will survive in the long run.

    E. G.
    "If you can't stand the answer --
    Don't ask the question!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phrakhanong View Post
    Absolutely fantastic photos. Some of the guys here in Oz use similar technology to capture deer, kangaroos etc. In some cases, they use the mobile network to upload the stills instantly... obviously relies on being in an area with a cellular network though.

    With respect to cerebral malaria, our company almost lost two employees from it in Africa. One of the employees was found paralyzed in his bed, had to be airlifted to hospital and we were told if he'd been found an hour later, he would not have made it. Nasty stuff.

    Any suggestions on a good general SLR camera and lens combo for someone who has spent a lot of time with the more compact cameras, and wants to move onto something more serious given the limitations of the compacts?
    Phrakhanong,

    Thank you for your kind words. Camera-trap technology is surely amazing stuff and there are so many new and old manufacturers out there it boggles the mind. It would be great if there was a cellular network out in the Thai forest but that might be sometime before that comes about. But that equipment is also quite expensive and probably out of my reach for the time being.

    Cerebral malaria is absolutely deadly. I was lucky to be real close to a hospital where the Director is Thailand's number one expert on malaria and other viral infections.

    All the big guns (Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pentax, Olympus, Sigma, etc.) have good medium sized and priced cameras that are a good starting point for someone wanting to step up to the next level. If you would like to take a good variety of different photographs, a 70-200mm f 2.8 is the best and a 1.4 tele-converter can be used with this lens allowing a little more reach. But there are other zooms from 18-200mm that cover a wider range but with a loss in f-stop and not as expensive. Another alternative is the aftermarket lenses from Tamron, Sigma, Tokina and others which are cheaper than name-brand products but can produce very good photographs. Get on the net and go shopping in the big wish catalog but it all comes down to one main thing, budget.

    I began with an old film Pentax KM and 35mm lens (still with me), and then a film Nikon FE manual with a 50mm lens gradually working my way up from there when I could afford it. When the digital age began, I got a very good Minolta D7 and a 200mm f 2.8 lens and 1.4 converter which I also still have. I now use a Nikon D700 and a 400mm f 2.8 lens with a 1.7 converter as the best combination I have ever used. I wish you luck in all your endeavors.
    Last edited by Bruce Kekule; 17-08-2010 at 09:55 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by APMann View Post
    I am a long-time lurker on This board, and a frequent overnight visitor to Khao Yai.

    This is one of the best and most interesting posts I have ever read on a web board. Many thanks for your hard work and for actually posting this.

    Have you not had any luck with tigers in Khao Yai?
    APMann,

    Thanks and I appreciate your comments. I'm glad you enjoyed the thread. No such luck in Khao Yai but there could be a few left in the interior. Thap Lan has a small population as camera-trapped by the NGO Freeland helping the park with ranger training and other related conservation projects. Thanks again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Gibbon View Post
    Bruce, thank you again!

    Its too bad that every school age child in Thailand cannot see these two threads. They have no idea of the wonders surrounding them and their adult mentors could care less. Educating the yung ons will be the key to whether or not these species will survive in the long run.

    E. G.
    El Gibbon,

    Thank you too for keeping up with my threads. My ambition is to educate Thai people especially school children as they are the future. The adults and grown children are too busy with themselves to care about their natural heritage. However, there are some dedicated people who do respect and love what they have but they are few and far between.

    I have an old saying that I coined many years ago: "Educate the children of today and save the wildlife of tomorrow". I am now working with a very close Thai friend to produce a book on Thailand's wildlife in Thai to be distributed throughout the schools in the country. He is Pongpol Adireckson, an avid wildlife photographer and writer. Together, we will also be making a Thai documentary for the 'Next Step' cable TV series about the wonderful Thai forests and animals.

    It is getting hectic for me but I will push on with what you mentioned, education of the young. It is the secret to the future of wildlife conservation in the Kingdom. Thank you again for your interest in my work.

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    Member APMann's Avatar
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    Could you please do another post of photos of the other interesting animals you have photographed, such as leopards and other wild cats? (or have you already done so).

    Many thanks.

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    Absolutely fantastic stuff, really appreciate the photos and effort to write these threads mate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by APMann View Post
    Could you please do another post of photos of the other interesting animals you have photographed, such as leopards and other wild cats? (or have you already done so).

    Many thanks.
    APMann,

    Coming up in a week or so is a thread on Kaeng Krachan NP and the tremendous variety of wild flora and fauna still thriving there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Wilson View Post
    Absolutely fantastic stuff, really appreciate the photos and effort to write these threads mate.
    Sir Wilson,

    Appreciate the kind words and I'm glad you like the story and photos. As mentioned elsewhere, I have loads and will try to keep it as interesting as possible. Cheers mate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Kekule View Post
    I am now working with a very close Thai friend to produce a book on Thailand's wildlife in Thai to be distributed throughout the schools in the country. He is Pongpol Adireckson, an avid wildlife photographer and writer. Together, we will also be making a Thai documentary for the 'Next Step' cable TV series about the wonderful Thai forests and animals.
    A worthy project. Thailand has an amazing natural heritage, and Thais need to come to see it as belonging to everyone. Getting that idea across is a tall enough order in a place like the US, and in Thailand, where the wealthy, privileged and powerful seem to feel entitled to do whatever they want in Thailand's wild places. An appeal to patriotism might be useful. All the best in your endeavors- if my 4-year-old Thai son is able one day to experience the beauty of wild Thailand it will be in large part thanks to the efforts of people such as you.
    “You can lead a horticulture but you can’t make her think.” Dorothy Parker

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    absolutly great thread ,keep going and please add other cats(fishing cat?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by robuzo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Kekule View Post
    I am now working with a very close Thai friend to produce a book on Thailand's wildlife in Thai to be distributed throughout the schools in the country. He is Pongpol Adireckson, an avid wildlife photographer and writer. Together, we will also be making a Thai documentary for the 'Next Step' cable TV series about the wonderful Thai forests and animals.
    A worthy project. Thailand has an amazing natural heritage, and Thais need to come to see it as belonging to everyone. Getting that idea across is a tall enough order in a place like the US, and in Thailand, where the wealthy, privileged and powerful seem to feel entitled to do whatever they want in Thailand's wild places. An appeal to patriotism might be useful. All the best in your endeavors- if my 4-year-old Thai son is able one day to experience the beauty of wild Thailand it will be in large part thanks to the efforts of people such as you.
    Robuzo,

    Many thanks to you and your family. I hope that your 4-year old will grow up to love nature, but it is up to us adults to instill knowledge and awareness into the young minds from the beginning. This is the secret to saving Thailand's great wild places for future generations.

    And in the meantime, we need to pound it into the brains of those responsible for these very forests about the importance of good management, protection and enforcement of the protected areas. That is my job and I believe wildlife photographs make the difference as they instill a sense of respect and love for the natural world, and these images then become part of the overall picture of how great the Kingdom's natural heritage is!

    The biggest hurdle; the very rich politicians and government officials involved in destroying the resources with their hair-brain schemes for there own benefit. Corruption is a deadly sin and needs to be stamped out but how? After 45 years of watching the political situation in Thailand, don't hold your breath.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pone View Post
    absolutly great thread ,keep going and please add other cats(fishing cat?)
    Pone, thanks for your kind words. My camera-trap photo of a fishing cat was in Kaeng Krachan NP which I will be posting soon. However, the cat was so quick going past the camera, I only got half a cat but the tell-tale 'short tail' is there. I will have to dig that slide out as it is buried in a ton of photos but I promised someone else working on fishing cats that I would find it and now have an excuse. Cheers.

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    Correction

    In the part about infrared camera-trap boards, the following correction is needed. The company BJOutdoors' should read 'BFOutdoors.com'

    Apologise for this and hope I have not caused any misunderstanding about this company's fine reputation as one of the leading manufacturers in infrared boards in the U.S.

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    Thanks for these posts, pics and for your main website, my partner has spent some time with the kids showing them through the pics. We're an hour from Pangsida - last time we went in (on motorbike) the ranger said 'keep windows up, tigers' in his best English, very please with his joke. We've seen very little wildlife at all within that park, but then again whatever does live there would sensibly keep away from the roads/humans.
    There were still monkeys and the occasional elephant on this farm less than 15 years ago I'm told, now as it's all been cleared for agriculture they've gone, 12km away there's an undeveloped area with 'elephant warning' signs as they get forced into smaller and smaller areas.
    cheers!

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    re Pang Sida. i think the issue is the road (Thanon Daeng) and the amount of traffic on it making wildlife very wary. They have just started controlling it a lot more and you now have to sign in at the visitors centre before being allowed up it (started about two months ago but I have to admit I have not been since). To be honest its quite welcome, for me anyway, as the (often drunken) waterfall weekenders can drive like madmen up the road with a pickup full of their imbibed mates in the back.

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    ^ we put some pics of our last trip on here: http://teakdoor.com/the-eastern-thai...ml#post1536789 (Sakaeo Pang Sida National Park)
    going back next week - been some rain and the waterfalls will have . . .water!
    Agree re the drivers - as we were on a motorbike "The only dangers we faced were speeding 4WDs and the dust-storms they created" some of them treated it like a rally course.

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