Officials are fighting to save a lone tree on an uninhabited island in Thailand that has been severely damaged by a surge of tourists climbing the tree for selfies.
Located on the Koh Khai Hua Roh islet in Trat province, Thailand, the taban tree (Xylocarpus rumphii) was discovered to have been severely damaged upon inspection on Tuesday. Local authorities reported that several branches had broken off the tree and a large root showed signs of having been repeatedly trampled on.
The director of maintenance at the Koh Mak Tambon Administrative Organization, Lertrob Saithongpu, explained that the tree trunk bent much more than before the location became a popular tourist attraction, reported The Nation.
After a tourist’s Facebook post compared the tree to an island in a popular Thai comic book called “Khai Hua Roh,” the tree began suffering from overtourism despite the location’s limit of five visitors at a time.
Local administrations are now working to protect the tree by implementing a restricted number of visitors to the island as well as limiting entry to certain seasons of the year. A conservation campaign will also be launched to raise awareness among tourists.
Featured Image via Tourism Authority of Thailand