Thai elephant to be repatriated from Sri Lanka with 19 million baht budget

Photo from Facebook.

Animal lovers will be happy to know that Thailand’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has allocated a budget of 19 million baht for the return of Sak Surin, an ailing Thai elephant, from Sri Lanka next month, as announced by Minister Varawut Silpa-archa.

Sak Surin was one of three elephants sent to Sri Lanka as goodwill ambassadors from Thailand in 2001. Rally for Animal Rights & Environment, an animal rights group, has filed a complaint stating that the elephant has suffered mistreatment for several years.

Minister Varawut revealed that Sak Surin is scheduled to arrive at Chiang Mai airport on July 2 and will undergo a 14-day quarantine period at either Chiang Mai Zoo or the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre in Lampang, depending on his health after the six-hour flight, Bangkok Post reported.

A medical team has travelled to Sri Lanka to acquaint the elephant with a custom transport cage designed for his journey. Varawut expressed his gratitude for the assistance provided, particularly by the Sri Lankan government, and stated, “Sak Surin may take time to recover, and it is best to give medical treatment in Thailand.”

Last week, it was reported that the mahouts selected to look after Sak Surin had extensive experience working with elephants. The first mahout, 38 year old Torrachaisit Siri, is currently working with the Forest Industries Organization and has more than 10 years of experience working with elephants. The second mahout, Supachai Boon-geert, is 26 years old and has nine years of experience working with elephants. Both mahouts are also assistant veterinarians and will travel to Sri Lanka to help prepare Plai Sak Surin for the journey back to Thailand.

Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.