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Popular UK website canes Mövenpick Resort in Bangtao, Phuket for its use of a baby elephant to entertain guests

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Popular UK website canes Mövenpick Resort in Bangtao, Phuket for its use of a baby elephant to entertain guests | The Thaiger
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A big international social media and entertainment website based in the UK, LADbible.com, which attracts around 18-20 million clicks a month, has caned a Phuket hotel over some photos of guests interacting with a baby elephant.

The photos and story was circulated locally last week but has now been picked up by the popular website, spreading the poor publicity for the Mövenpick Resort in Bangtao to a much larger and broader international audience.

“A shocking photograph shows a baby elephant, allegedly being forced to entertain guests at a five-star resort in Thailand. In the picture, the endangered animal can be seen covered in a white sheet as it is led out to a party by the pool at the Mövenpick Resort Bangtao Beach hotel in Phuket”.

(Since 1986, the Asian elephant has been listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, as the population has declined by at least 50 percent over the last three generations, estimated to be 60–75 years. It is primarily threatened by loss of habitat, habitat degradation, fragmentation and poaching.)

The use of ‘animals for tourism’ is controversial in Thailand where many animals are kept captive to entertain tourists – dolphin shows, bird shows, crocodile and reptile shows, tiger shows and zoos. Many of the country’s larger, and hugely popular, cultural stage shows also use animals in their presentations.

And the use of elephants for tourism has been around for half a century as Thailand, which has banned forest logging (where elephants used to be used as the beasts of burden), now has many, many elephants, and their offspring, with little to do… except entertain tourists.

Many of the Thailand tourist demographic mix don’t have the same sensitivity to ‘animal tourism’ as others in the west. The animal shows in Thailand are mostly legal businesses and the use of animals for financial gain in the tourism industry has provided a popular cultural experience for some tourists in the past.

In the LADbible.com article Amy Jones from Moving Animals notes that elephants are sensitive, intelligent animals, “not products to be used as a ridiculous party prop”.

“Mövenpick Resort Bangtao Beach should not be promoting and supporting such cruelty, and this stunt will undoubtedly be bad for business as more and more tourists turn away from activities which exploit elephants.”

She went on to recount another case earlier this year, also in Phuket, about an emaciated baby elephant named “Dumbo” who was filmed, under-nourished, performing for tourists. Dumbo was forced to do his party tricks at the infamous Phuket Zoo.

“Earlier this year, Phuket made headlines after Moving Animals released photographs and footage of an skeletal baby elephant, ‘Dumbo’, who was forced to ‘rave’ to music and perform tricks for tourists entertainment.

“No elephant should have to suffer from this kind of abuse, and Phuket must take steps to make sure that these beautiful animals are protected.”

PHUKETA tragic end to baby elephant 'Dumbo', a real-life performing baby elephant at the notorious Phuket Zoo. The…

Posted by The Thaiger on Friday, May 17, 2019

Sadly Dumbo died. Read about that story HERE.

Mövenpick Resort in Bangtao is a five-star hotel and part of the Accor Group, situated directly across the road from Bangtao Beach.

For their part Mövenpick Resort are aware of the negative publicity and posted this response…

“We are aware of a post related to a baby elephant in our resort. We have investigated this situation and although we did not organise the party, we failed to disallow the activity and had mishandled the situation. We sincerely apologise for this matter.

We are issuing a formal communication to all staff reiterating that our hotel employees are expected to act as ambassadors by respecting and protecting our environment. We have also informed our tour operator that such activity will not be allowed at our hotel.”

Some social media responders have made it clear the practice can’t be tolerated. Other activists have been trolling the Mövenpick Resort by commenting on every post made by the resort, venting their anger…

I can’t believe a hotel in this day and age would allow this to happen? Disgusting you all should be ashamed of yourselves – Dean

I do not understand even the stupid tourists. They don’t mind animal bondage.people are absolutely without feeling. And the natives are to protect their nature and animals and not to destroy them – Lara

Boycott this place – David

Terrible this hotel has elephants for entertainment. How people still doing this shit – Ady

Disgusting and barbaric that you use elephants to entertain your guests. Shame on your resort!!!! – Susie

SOURCE: LADBible

Popular UK website canes Mövenpick Resort in Bangtao, Phuket for its use of a baby elephant to entertain guests | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter

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Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | The Thaiger

The Soi Dog Foundation has officially opened its Humane Education Centre, the first of its kind in Thailand dedicated to the welfare of stray animals. The centre, located at the Soi Dog shelter in northern Phuket, forms part of the foundation’s Humane Education program. Rolled out in 2017, the program sees a team visit Thai schools to teach the next generation the basic principles of animal welfare and promote empathetic attitudes towards both owned pets and free-roaming strays.

The program has reached a total of 15,058 students and 861 teachers to date. With a dedicated classroom as well as educational tools and resources now on site at the shelter, Soi Dog will be able to expand the programme and reach an even greater number of young minds.

Co-founder and president of Soi Dog Foundation International John Dalley said, “The cornerstones of what we do – what I believe very firmly are the answers to the stray dog problem throughout Asia – are large-scale sterilisation of stray dogs and cats and education of, particularly, the next generation.

“We see all the time the problems that are being caused through us not respecting the environment and not respecting the other animals with whom we share this planet. That’s why education is so important.”

John also thanked the supporters and donors who made the construction of the centre possible. After cutting the ribbon, the students filed into the brand-new facility for the very first on-site class – a fun and interactive hour of roleplaying, brainstorming and problem solving.

Humane Education Manager Nuttawut “Film” Kumngern. said… “We want to encourage kindness toward animals, especially free-roaming dogs and cats, and teach youngsters to be responsible pet owners. This will sustainably reduce animal cruelty and pet abandonment.”

“We hope to one day see animal welfare incorporated into the curriculum in Thai schools, and our education centre is a great start.”

Soi Dog is ready to welcome school groups from Phuket and other provinces to the centre which can accommodate up to 40 students at any one time. Schools interested in participating are encouraged to email film@soidog.org

Phuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The ThaigerPhuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The Thaiger

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International Schools

Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket

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Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket | The Thaiger

Chalong police in Phuket say they have yet to start investigating the illegal hiring of foreign teachers at an international school in Rawai, south of the island. Palm House International School allegedly hired foreign teachers illegally in which 2 were arrested by Phuket Immigration police on November 4.

Somkiet Sarasin, the leading investigator of the case, says the 2 Brits were informed that police were processing a charge of working illegally in the country against them, in which both denied the charges. Somkiet says the 2 were released on bail, but did not confirm the amount of bail that was set by the police.

“They are still staying in Thailand. I am not worried. I have their passports. I am not available to explain [any details] because the investigation is still ongoing.”

“This is normal for an investigation when the suspects deny the charge against them. I have to check more information against their claims. This case will probably be concluded next month.”

However, the investigation has yet to begin, with Somkiet saying he has not even questioned the owner of the school, despite his claims the case would be finished next month.

“The investigation into the school will take time. The investigation into the two British people must be finished first.”

Such allegations of foreign teachers working illegally have recently been in the news after Sarasas Witaed Sainoi Pitiyakarn School, in the central province of Nonthaburi, saw 7 foreign teachers probed for being hired illegally. That school, along with others in its private network, made nationwide news after CCTV caught a Thai teacher hitting, pushing and dragging a young student in the classroom. Such widespread violence against students has long been a sad component of many Thai schools, in which some of the teachers are unqualified and unlicensed to teach, but are hired anyway.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Tourism

Phuket sees 300 million baht boost over long holiday weekend

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Phuket sees 300 million baht boost over long holiday weekend | The Thaiger

The Tourism Authority of Thailand says that Phuket has received a much-needed 300 million baht boost over the 4 day long weekend with around 54,000 tourists flocking to the island from last Thursday through to yesterday.

Phuket Office Director Nanthasiri Ronnasiri, reports that the average expenditure per visitor was about 5,500 baht, which was higher than the average spend for a Thai tourist to Phuket 2 years ago. She also noted that random checks on hotels showed that occupancy rates climbed to about 35%, with most guests staying 2 nights. But most of Phuket’s hotels remain closed.

Nanthasiri also says that many of the tourists concentrated themselves in the Phuket Old Town area, especially around Thalang Road, Phang Nga Road, and Dibuk Road in order to enjoy at the Sino-Portuguese shophouse architecture and historical locations. In fact much of Phuket Town, including its many markets and alley eateries, were doing roaring business, The Thaiger can vouch for the heavy traffic, on the roads and footpaths, over the past 4 days.

“This special holiday made Phuket tourism livelier, even though it was not as same as the situation before the Covid-19 pandemic.”

In fact, despite the welcome surge of visitors, it was still a long, long way from its previous tourist levels with much of the west coast, which has largely catered for the international tourist traffic, was still very quiet in places like Patong, Kata and Karon.

Phuket wasnt the only destination that has profited off of the long weekend as Chiang Mai saw droves of Thai tourists visiting its Royal Park Rajapruek as well as the northern city’s other nearby national parks and tourist areas. Visitors came from all over to see the blossoming of flowers in a beautiful display at the park as well as enjoying the air-purifying flowers as they relaxed. Tourists were able to rent a bicycle for 60 baht if they wanted to exercise while taking in the scenery and could also pay a visit to the orchid greenhouse, which hosts a variety of orchids in bloom. TripAdvisor recommends to set aside 2 hours to visit the park.

Next holiday weekend, on November 27 and 28, Pattaya is expected to get a tourism boost as its annual fireworks festivalis set to bring in travellers who have taken advantage of package deals offered by some beachside hotels. Such packages were offered for advance bookings, where holidaymakers could view the firework shows on the rooftops of their hotels. The firework displays are said to be long with breaks of entertainment-packed shows, featuring live music and student bands amongst others.

Phuket sees 300 million baht boost over long holiday weekend | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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