Tuesday, June 27, 2006
The Khan Kluay effect
Just like 101 Dalmations, which caused a run on cute, little dalmation puppies, or Finding Nemo's increasing the sales of clown fish, it seems the Thai animated film Khan Kluay has caused a glut of elephants begging for handouts, according to the Bangkok Post.
The number of young elephants, aged three or four, wandering in the business districts of Chiang Rai municipality has increased since the release of the film last month, the report says.
Aek, a 25-year-old mahout said Khan Kluay film fever drove him and fellow mahouts to bring baby elephants to the city. He said the cuter baby elephants help him earn more money than grown ones, especially with the current Khan Kluay craze.
The mahouts could earn 300 to 400 baht (about $7 to $10) a day.
Although the mahouts risk a crackdown by the police (elephants are technically barred from the cities), or their elephants being hit by cars, they say they have no choice.
"My fellow mahouts and I always worry about what will happen to us and our elephants after the Khan Kluay film craze is over," Aek said.
(Cross-published at Rotten Tomatoes)