Diving Racha Noi – Earth Touch Wild Oceans. This week’s episode of Wild Oceans is from a little known island south of Phuket called Racha Noi. Special thanks to Blue World Safaris of Phuket for making the trip possible. Phuket Web Media film weekly episodes for Earth Touch series “Wild Oceans” Last month we were in the Philippines and this month sees us exploring the waters closer to home – with trips to Koh Phi Phi National Marine Reserve and the clear waters of Koh Racha Noi. Stay tuned next month as we head out to the far east of Indonesia to a new diving destination on Rote near Timor.
We take our cameras inside two Thailand sanctuaries for rescued and injured slow lorises to meet the vets and volunteers dealing firsthand with the consequences of the illegal trade in these threatened primates. They might be some of the most adorable creatures on earth, but that cuteness has put slow lorises at serious risk from the exotic pet industry.
We started this story with some secret filming in tourist destinations around Phuket and Khao Lak, catching the touts that use the Slow Loris as photo props for unsuspecting tourists. Later we travelled to Prachuap Kirikan to meet Edwin Wiek of the WFFT. Here they receive Slow Lorises that are injured or abandoned and do their best to rehabilitate them for return to the wild. Nancy Gibson was next stop on our story and her small but wonderful Slow Loris refuge just south of Bangkok allowed us to see first hand the tragedy of the animal photo trade in Thailand.
Special thanks to Nancy Gibson from www.lovewildlife.org and Edwin Wiek from www.wfft.org for their invaluable help to secure the footage used in this episode of Earth Touch Insiders.
Plight of The Asian Bears. The Asiatic Black Bear and the Malayan Sun Bear are both victims of the pet trade and the disgusting bear bile industry. In part 1 of this series we look at two rescue centers working at saving these beautiful creatures. Filmed at the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) in Thailand and the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre in Malaysia. Special thanks to Edwin Wiek of the WFFT. The WFFT runs a volunteer program and anyone wishing to be part of this great work and help out can contact WFFT directly.
An Earth Touch Film by Stewart Whitfield and Gustavo Martinez Schmidt
In May 2014 Earth Touch commissioned me to travel to Chitwan National Park in Nepal’s lowlands near the Indian border. This amazing wildlife reserve has the world’s largest population of Greater One Horned Rhino as well as Asiatic Tigers, Elephants, Bears, and all kinds of other wild animals that could eat you in a heart beat. With my dear friend and amazing film maker Gustavo Martinez Schmidt we spent a week within the Chitwan National Park and got away with some beautiful footage. The results of which can be seen in the film here.
Our guide in Chitwan was ZSL’s Nepali director Hem Baral whose knowledge of the park and animals found there was seemingly endless. The greater one-horned rhino is identified by a single black horn about 8-25 inches long and a grey-brown hide with skin folds, which give it an armor-plated appearance. Greater one-horned rhinos are solitary creatures, except when sub-adults or adult males gather at wallows or to graze. Males have loosely defined home ranges that are not well defended and often overlap. They are primarily grazers, with a diet consisting almost entirely of grasses as well as leaves, branches of shrubs and trees, fruit and aquatic plants.
The greater one-horned rhino is the largest of the rhino species. Once found across the entire northern part of the Indian sub-continent, rhino populations were severely depleted as they were hunted for sport and killed as agricultural pests. This pushed the species very close to extinction in the early 20th century and by 1975 there were only 600 individuals surviving in the wild. The conservation efforts in Chitwan National Park have been a success story and today rhino poaching is virtually done with the Nepali army having a shoot on site policy towards poachers…….
For more information about the Greater One Horned Rhino look at some of these links……….