Tell Ranger Sommai you care, send a postcard today!
Starting as a patrol officer in Klonglarn National Park 22 years ago, Sommai rose through the ranks to become patrol leader. He has accumulated a vast experience from working in all four of the park protection units. Today he leads a team of 6 men tasked to protect the forest and wildlife within the park.
Beyond patrollingIn 2007, the park enhanced its patrol regime to include wildlife survey and data collection. The purpose is to monitor wildlife distribution and changes in the forest habitat. To cover the entire park, the team divided it into units with each unit under the responsibility of 6-7 rangers.
The rangers make GPS records, map out forest trails, record and photograph wildlife footprints, as well as track poachers. Each patrol covers a distance of between 30-50 kilometres and can take up to 4 days.
Sommai has come face to face with both wildlife and armed poachers while patrolling the forest.
“The poachers would fire their gun into the air or threaten to shoot us,” said Sommai. “We have to know how to defend ourselves so that we can go after the poachers and arrest them.”
He has never been afraid of wildlife as he believes that the animals somehow will not harm those with good intentions and who are working to protect and look after them.
Working, learning and sharing“I know that my work benefits both nature and people,” he said proudly. “At the same time, I am also learning a lot, especially through patrolling the forest. We observe what is happening in the forest, write down our observations and share these with others.”
And Sommai is very happy to share his knowledge. Besides using his singing skills and Big Cat, he also organizes activities to spread the conservation message to schools and villages.
He feels that he has a duty to pass on his knowledge about wildlife and conservation, accumulated through his many years of service as a ranger, to the junior staff. He hopes that the new generation will carry on the mission of protecting the forest with dignity and with full dedication.
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The poachers would fire their gun into the air or threaten to shoot us. We have to know how to defend ourselves so that we can go after the poachers and arrest them.