Nearly a hundred miles to the northeast of Bangkok sits a popular UNESCO world Heritage site called Thailand’s Khao Yai National park, which happens to be one of the few places around the world where you can see an actual dinosaur footprint. The only catch is, to see the Klong Pa Kang-Wang Haew-Dinosaur Footprint, you’d have to embark on a four-day hike.
However, it seems like recently, the park has been having a lot of problems related to littering and maintaining cleanliness. Campers who visit the UNESCO-famed site seemingly needed a reminder of their “trashy behavior” at the Khao Yai National park.
To give these ignorant visitors a wake-up call, government officials decided to pack up all the trash they failed to dispose of in the correct manner and sent it back to them through the mail. Officials responsible for the park felt it was crucial to stress the significance of keeping the natural environment as it should be- unlittered- something they were having a very difficult time getting across to campers.
Whether the trash was just bags of chips or plastic bottles, it was all mailed directly to the campers with a note that read: ‘you forgot your belongings at Khao Yai National park’.
This move was approved and led by the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources of Thailand, Varawut Silpa-archa, who sent a reminder through a post on Facebook dated the 14th of September, 2020, for people visiting the park to take their trash along with them on their departure; especially as it can have an impact on the animals that forage for food. He made sure to add that if they fail to do so, he would put the garbage in a package and send it back to their homes as a souvenir.
On the same day, he updated his followers through another post with pictures of the collected garbage, with a caption that stated that the trash that was left in the park by tourists is now packaged and is ready to be sent back to their owners.
He also reiterated the fact that littering the park is a real crime, under which he made sure to enlist regulations that said that people who perform such actions like harming the environment and natural resources can receive up to a fine of five hundred thousand Thai Baht (nearly $16,000), being imprisoned for 5 years or both!
In an email, Charinya Kiatlapnachai, the director of the Tourism Authority told the Washington Post, that they appreciate the efforts of Khao Yai National Park and Varawut Silpa-archa, as they are committed to maintaining the well-being and beauty of the natural resources of their country.
She also stated that during the past six months, while the park was shut down due to the virus, the wildlife and national parks of Thailand have been able to recover from the damaging effects of tourism. With that in mind, this gesture was all the more important, as it is vital to ensure that the country remains clean, beautiful, and safe, for human beings and animals alike.