Wildlife Laws: Should India learn something from Bangkok's Smiling Elephant Law
India should probably take a cue from countries that actually work on wildlife laws rather than just legislate on them.
There is a law in Thailand that is called as the ‘Smiling elephant’ law. People who are caught feeding the elephants will be fined and may even face a prison sentence of up to six months. 'Begging' elephants are common in Thailand the the authorities are taking a tough stand by passing such stringent laws to curb the same.
Another instance is that of the Hagenbeck's Tierpark that is well known for taking care of elephants for over a century. It is also recognized for keeping animals in a carefully prepared environment. The keepers have brought out a handbook that is based on their experience while handling elephants and other animals in the Park.
Such initiatives are not forthcoming in India and perhaps not documented in the first place because most of the mahouts and keepers in Parks are not encouraged to document their findings in the first place. Thus, we lose considerable first hand data and reporting that can be useful for understanding and improving India's wildlife laws.