WILDLIFE OF KHAO SOK NATIONAL PARK
covers an area of over 120,000 hectares of mostly virgin
rainforest. There is plenty of wildlife in the park,
although depending on the time of day it can be quite
elusive, but your knowledgeable guide will help spot
species such as gibbons and hornbills.
The Asian elephant can be distinguished from the Afican
by its smaller size, high back, shorter tusks (not
visible outside the mouth in females and some males) and
smaller ears. Living in lowland forests from India to
Sumatra, they live in herds or extended families of 5-20
animals, led by an old female, the matriarch. Adult
males join the herd only to mate. Khao Sok's wild
elephants feed heavily on fast growing, succulents, such
as bamboo, consoming up to 250 kg. of food and 70-90
liter of water each day. They are also partial to
fruits, and need larges areas to feed on. Most wandering
and foraging is done at night. Elephants are good
swimmers and able to cross bodies of water several km.
wide. A 4-6 tons beast can charge through the forest at
40 km/hour. The females are extremely protective of
their youngs and lone bulls can be easily annoyed.
white elephant is the symbol of the current royal Chakri
dynasty. Khao Sok is one of the few places where Asian
elephants still roam wild (estimated population: 100).
Continued deforestation by man has led therefore to the
destruction of their natural habitat.
MALAY SUN BEAR
The Malay Sun Bear is the world's smallest bear, but
probably the most powerful.
They have a handsome white crescent accross the chest, a
short haired black coat, long tongues for reaching
larves and honey inside beehives, and long claws for
digging and tearing. A good climber, the bear is able to
tear open a beehive in a hardwood tree cavity and are
often called "honey bears".
Largely noctural, these bears spent most of the daytime
sleeping or resting in hollow trees, crevices and caves,
hunting at night for fruits, greens, insects, eggs and
A Sun Bear will rarely weight more that 50 kg, but it
has a reputation for ferocity to rival its cousin, the
Asiatic Black Bear, which can weight in excess of 150
kg. Both are known to attack humans without provocation
and they are the most feared of the forest animals.
However, due to their nocturnal lifestyle, Sun Bear and
human encounters are very rare.
The Thai Tiger (P. Tigris Corbetti) ranges over Thailand
and Indochina and is only slightly smaller that its
Bengali and Siberian cousins. An estimated 200-250
tigers remains in the wild, in Khao Sok National Park,
the onoly habitat in Thailand that is capable of
supporting the tiger.
Sadly throughout Asia the apetite for tigers parts can't
be satiate, inspite of the fact that there is no
scientific evidence to link tiger parts with medicinal
They are found in the dense forest, are nocturnal, tree
dwellers hunting monkeys, squirrels and birds
mostly.Flexible ankle joints make them accomplished
climbers and able to run head first down a tree or climb
along the underside of a bough.The largest of the
felines, after tiger and leopard, it can weight up to 25
Feeding exclusively on live catch, whilst in flight,
Peregrin Falcos are truly powerful birds.
Due to a diminishing number of sea birds in the area,
few birds can be seen in and around Khao Sok, though the
limestone karsts in the area provides ideal nesting
The Great Hornbill is actually
common.The bizarre Helmeted Hornbill is
also fairly easy to see. Hearing them is
also rewarding as their call permeates
the jungle for a long distance.
Bushy-crested Hornbills, a very
gregarious species, is very easy to
see.Wreathed Hornbills and Plain-pouched
Hornbills are frequently seen as well.
Though difficult to see, the stunning
White-crowned Hornbill also calls Khao
Sok National Park its home. All of the
hornbills found in Thailand are
resident. Hornbills are primarily
frugivorous (fruit eaters) though they will take small
reptiles, insects, and even other smaller birds during
molting or when rearing young.
The song of this rare creature is very individual and
epitomises the last wild expanses of SE Asian forest.
Perhaps the most tuneful of land mammals, each species
has its own unique song, which can be heard in Khao Sok
between 8-10am.The first calls are often adult male
solos, followed by the duets of couples who sing to
protect and reinforce their bonding with each
other.Dueting is only done by monogamous species of
birds and mammals, gibbons being one of the few
monogamous mammals species.
Lars sleep in the emergent trees in the forest, which is
a good location to transmit their songs.
The upper canopy is heated much sooner by the rising sun
than the lower storeys and so when the trapped cool
night air meets the hot air of the upper canopy a
thermal boundary is created. Gibbons time their calls
with this thermal boundary and are then able to project
their songs 2-3 km.Highly intelligent (with 95% of human
DNA), the Lar Gibbon, or White-Handed Gibbon, has two
colourations of soft and silky coat, creamy blond and
chocolate brown, having a ring of white fur around the
dark face, and white hands and feet.