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Exploring Thailand’s National Parks: 9 Animals To Look Out For

Nothing is more exciting and awe-inspiring for the adventurous tourist than a visit to one of Thailand’s national parks. Not only do they provide beautiful natural habitats to observe and explore, but they are also home to a variety of rare and fascinating animals. 

From majestic elephants to colorful birds, get ready to be dazzled by the incredible diversity that exists in Thailand’s national parks! In this article, we’ll take a look at 10 unique creatures you should keep an eye out for when exploring these wondrous parks.

Rare Animals in Thailand’s National Parks

Thailand is home to some of the world’s rarest and most beautiful animals. Here are just a few of the animals you might see when exploring Thailand’s national parks:

-The Asian elephant is the largest land animal in Asia and one of the most endangered animals in the world. There are an estimated 2,500-3,000 elephants living in Thailand today.

-The leopard cat is a small wild cat that is found throughout Southeast Asia. In Thailand, leopard cats can be found in forests and swamps.

-The seba’s cuped deer is a rare deer species that is found only in Vietnam and Laos. A few individuals have been spotted in northeastern Thailand.

-The red pandas are commonly found in the Himalayan region but can also be spotted in northern Thailand. These furry creatures are actually more closely related to raccoons than they are to bears or pandas.

Asian Elephant

The Asian elephant is one of the most iconic animals in Thailand and can be found in several of the country’s national parks. The largest populations are in Kui Buri and Khao Yai National Parks, but they can also be spotted in other protected areas such as Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary and Kaeng Krachan National Park.

These gentle giants are an important part of Thai culture and play a role in many traditional ceremonies and festivals. They are also popular tourist attractions, with visitors often going on elephant rides or watching them perform tricks.

Thailand’s elephants are sadly under threat from habitat loss and illegal hunting, but thanks to the work of conservation groups, their numbers are slowly starting to increase. If you’re lucky enough to spot one while exploring Thailand’s national parks, be sure to give them plenty of space and admire them from a distance.

Black Leopards

Thailand is home to many national parks, each with their own unique set of animals. One animal that can be found in several of Thailand’s national parks is the black leopard.

There are thought to be only around 200 black leopards living in Thailand, making them a rare sight. However, if you’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse of one, you’re sure to be mesmerized by its beauty.

Black leopards are most commonly found in Khao Yai National Park and Erawan National Park. If you’re hoping to spot one on your travels, make sure to keep your eyes peeled and your camera ready!

Described as an eerie beauty, black leopards are mysterious creatures. Despite being easier to spot at night, you may occasionally find one during the day, usually in areas of dense vegetation or along water sources.

The black leopards living in Thailand can be distinguished from their spotted neighbors by their deep black coat which stands out against the lush jungle foliage.

Giant Ibis

The Giant Ibis is one of Thailand’s most iconic birds and can be found in a number of national parks across the country. The bird is also the national bird of Cambodia.

The Giant Ibis is a large bird, with a wingspan of up to 2.5 metres (8.2 feet). The body is black with a white head and neck, and the legs are pink. The Giant Ibis feeds on fish, amphibians, reptiles, small mammals and insects.

The Giant Ibis is under threat from habitat loss and hunting, and is classed as critically endangered by the IUCN.

Tigers

There are less than 250 tigers left in Thailand, and they are classified as a national heritage animal. As recently as 2016, there were tigers in all of Thailand’s national parks. However, due to poaching and habitat loss, tiger populations have declined sharply. Today, there are only tigers in four of Thailand’s national parks: Khao Yai National Park, Khlong Phanom National Park, Mae Wong National Park, and Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary.

In addition to the threat of poaching, tigers in Thailand face the challenges of habitat loss and conflict with humans. Due to the increasing popularity of ecotourism in Thailand, many national parks have been developed for tourists.

This has led to the displacement of tigers and other animals from their natural habitats. In addition, as human populations have grown, there has been an increase in human-tiger conflict. Tigers have been known to attack people who venture into their territory.

Despite these challenges, there is still some hope for the future of tigers in Thailand. The Thai government has increased its efforts to crack down on poaching, and NGOs are working to protect tiger habitats. If we can take action to protect these magnificent creatures, there is a chance that they will continue to thrive in Thailand for generations to come.

Gaur

Thailand is home to many national parks, each with their own unique ecosystems and wildlife. One park in particular, Khao Yai National Park, is home to the gaur, a large bovine species that is native to Southeast Asia. 

The gaur is the largest living member of the bovine family and can weigh up to two thousand pounds. They are shy animals but have been known to attack humans if they feel threatened. If you’re lucky enough to see one of these majestic creatures while exploring Khao Yai National Park, be sure to keep your distance and enjoy the experience from afar.

There are many conservation efforts in place to protect these critically endangered species within the park. With luck, the gaur will remain a part of Khao Yai National Park’s wildlife for years to come.

Dhole

Dholes are wild dogs that can be found in the forests of Thailand. They are relatively small, with reddish-brown fur and black spots. Dholes are shy animals, but they can be aggressive if they feel threatened. If you see a dhole in the wild, it is best to leave it alone.

Dholes play an important role in the ecosystem by controlling the populations of small prey animals. They also help to maintain a balance between predator and prey species. In Thailand, dholes are threatened by hunting, habitat destruction, and competition with other predators such as tigers. Conservation efforts are underway to protect dholes and their habitats.

In Thai culture, the dhole is an important symbol of loyalty and courage. It is also associated with fertility and success. In Buddhist mythology, dholes are said to be an incarnation of the God Narasimha.

Sun Bear

Sun bears are the smallest member of the bear family, and are found in tropical forests throughout Southeast Asia. They are excellent climbers and often build nests high up in trees, where they sleep during the day and forage for food at night.

Sun bears are mostly vegetarian, but will also eat insects, small mammals, and carrion. Their diet consists mainly of bamboo shoots, fruits, and honey. They have a long tongue that they use to lick up honey from beehives.

 Sun bears are solitary animals, but will sometimes congregate in groups of two or three when there is a plentiful food source. Females will usually have two cubs at a time, which they raise on their own.

Although sun bears are not aggressive animals, they have been known to attack humans if they feel threatened or cornered. If you see a sun bear while hiking in Thailand’s national parks, it is best to give it a wide berth!

White Handed Gibbon

White-handed gibbons are among the most acrobatic of the apes. Found only in Thailand and parts of Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia, these endangered primates swing through the trees using their long arms. Females are larger than males and can weigh up to 11 kg (24 lb).

They have shaggy white fur on their hands, feet, ears, and face. The rest of their body is dark brown or black. Gibbons are very vocal animals and make a variety of sounds, including screams, yelps, barks, hoots, and howls.

The best place to see white-handed gibbons is in Khao Sok National Park. This park is home to over 50% of the world’s population of this species. Gibbons are most active in the early morning and late afternoon. If you’re lucky enough to see one, you’ll be treated to a spectacular show as they swing through the treetops!

Malaysian Giant Turtle

There are many different types of turtles that call Thailand home, but one of the most impressive is the Malaysian giant turtle. This species can grow up to 3 feet in length and weigh up to 200 pounds, making it one of the largest turtles in the world. The Malaysian giant turtle is a herbivore, feeding primarily on plants and leaves. In Thailand, this turtle can be found in Khao Sok National Park and other freshwater habitats throughout the country.

While they are not currently considered endangered, the Malaysian giant turtle population is declining due to habitat loss and hunting. If you’re lucky enough to see one of these turtles in the wild, take care not to disturb them as they go about their daily lives.

Conclusion

Exploring Thailand’s national parks and jungles can be one of the most rewarding adventures, with a wide variety of wildlife to experience. From the majestic Asian Elephant to the vibrant Binturong and much more, there is an abundance of unique animals that call Thailand their home. With proper safety precautions in place, you can embark on a spectacular journey through some of nature’s greatest wonders—endangered species included! Don’t forget your camera and binoculars so you can share these amazing creatures with friends and family back home. Avid travelers, welcome to your ultimate wild safari!

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