National Thai Elephant Day

Elephants are fed with banana trees, sugarcane and fruit during a feeding ceremony on the grounds at the Maesa elephant camp in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand Sunday, March 13, 2005. The ceremony was held to mark the country’s ‘Elephant Day’ participated by nearly 100 elephants. (AP Photo/Vichai Taprieu)

A Thai mahout watches his colleagues bath elephants in a stream at Elephant Conservation Center in Lampang province, northern Thailand. The center, located amidst the teak forest just outside Lampang city, is one of the country’s tourist destines, besides daily showing the performance of the pachyderms, it also housing the world’s only elephant hospital. (AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong)

QUICK FACTS

* In May 1998, the Cabinet approved the designation of March 13 as Thai Elephants Day to raise and sustain public awareness of the importance of elephants.

* Elephant are recognzied as the national animal of Thailand.

* The flag of Thailand used to be a white elephant on a red background

* On 19 February 2005, the most expensive painting by an elephant sold for US$39,000.

* There are between 3,000-4,000 elepants in Thailand. Around half of these are domesticated, the remainder living wild in National Parks.

* At the start of the last century, there were over 100,000 elephants in Thailand.

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