Thailand – A Thai temple feeds peacocks to keep them away from agricultural fields

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Location: Phayao – Thailand

Language: Thai

Voice: Natural

Duration: 00:05:42

Source: A24

Restriction: A24 clients

Dateline: 29-01-2022

Storyline

Tham Thepnimit Temple in Dok Khatai District, Phayao Province became well known as a destination to watch wild Thai peacocks with a yard where over a hundred peacocks land to seek their food.

The Superior Sriprai Khema Bhirato, Abbot of Tham Thepnimit Temple, stated the peacock is a local bird that can be found around the province. In the past, these peacocks used to go around the sub-district separately to seek food and sometimes cause damage to the local’s agricultural products. He then came up with the thought that peacocks might not cause problems if they’re fed so he started feeding them. So, the temple ended up full of peacocks that come for food. Somban Panjuree, Local of Huai Lan Sub-district, revealed the conflicts between locals and peacocks faded away after the abbot started to take care of them. Once the peacocks led to tourism growth, locals then began to preserve them.

According to the research by the University of Phayao, Thai Peacock or Green Peafowl, which is under both Thai and international wildlife conservation laws, can be found most massively in Phayao Province with at least 4,000 of them residing in the province nowadays.

Shotlists

  • (SOUNDBITE) Somban Panjuree – Local of Huai Lan Sub-district;

“There were conflicts between people and peacocks in the past because they went around eating local’s agricultural products. But now that the abbot stepped up to take care of them, they came to live in this temple.

  • (SOUNDBITE) His Superior Sriprai Khema Bhirato – Abbot of Tham Thepnimit Temple:

“Peacocks have been living in this area for a very long time. But there weren’t many of them as they lived separately because there was not enough food. If I didn’t preserve or feed them, they’d go down and cause trouble to the local’s crops. The locals had to work for their living, so I felt sorry for them. I tried to figure out how to prevent them from going down and causing damages to the locals and came up with the thought that if they’re full then they would go back to the forest.

  • (SOUNDBITE) Somban Panjuree – Local of Huai Lan Sub-district

“With the peacocks living in this temple, it’s like preserving them. The conflicts faded away. People started to help take care of them. Some became more understanding. Peacock seems to be a supernal animal. The abbot let them live here, so the locals support him. Mostly, we used the village’s broadcast tower by having the village headman announce it for us.”

  • (SOUNDBITE) His Superior Sriprai Khema Bhirato – Abbot of Tham Thepnimit Temple:

“Our temple takes care of all the food cost to keep the peacocks here. It’s me. Sometimes, the locals offer me some. I collect them for the food cost. But sometimes I had to spend my own money. It’s better in the past as there’re tourists come to see them. When there’re many tourists, it helped me relieve the burden quite a lot. But now, with the Covid epidemic, it became quiet. Not many tourists came. So, it’s quite a load for us.”

  • (SOUNDBITE) His Superior Sriprai Khema Bhirato – Abbot of Tham Thepnimit Temple:

“The locals found the eggs and pity of them, so they brought it back and had their hens incubate them. But once the birds came out, they couldn’t raise them because they are conserved birds. So, they offered the birds to us. We raised them accordingly to make sure they survive and returned them to nature – no caging at all. Please don’t misunderstand us for earning money with the birds. We don’t. We preserve them. You can see that the peacocks only live in abundant forests. If not, they won’t stay.

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