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Trip reports - Logging and rafting

Elephant logging - Bamboo rafting - Taungoo

Elephant pulling a log Elephant pulling a log. Elephants are widely used in the timber extraction in Myanmar (Burma). They are efficient, smart and environmentally friendly. In the past mechanical means of extraction such as cable transporter were tested and tried without success. Machines tend to damage the forest. They also produce smokes and toxic waste and are expensive; plus spare parts are imported from outside of the country.

Elephants are smart walkers in all terrains of the tropical forest ground, even in the water. They can efford to pull a large log in any ground. Their trunk, tusks and feet are useful to make a neat pile of logs. These animals are also used for transportation of men and equipment from place to place in the forest.

Elephants also need special care and training. They need a nature with plants and vegetation and water to live and produce generations. They need free and leisure time as we do. The trainer plays very important role in the life of a timber elephant. His life is very much mingled with his elephant.

Bamboo rafting Bamboo rafting seen at Sein Yay stream in Bago range. Bamboo and many types of soft and hard wood are found in Bago mountain range in the central Myanmar. The forest has been mass exploited for more than 100 years. Reforestation by men and nature could not compete with the speed of extraction.

Like every other countries Myanmar (Burma) desperately look for foreign income to purchase things it can not produce. Sadly more than 60% of the imported items are unnecessary or environmentally un-friendly or unhealthy. And over 90% of the necessary things has not yet been done or never being put under the consideration. Or, it may be that we still do not think of thinking how to create physically and mentally healthy nation.

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