BANGKOK (AFP): More than 80 elephants roaming the streets of Bangkok are to be rounded up and tagged with microchips to try to keep them out of town, city authorities said today. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) said it was planning the huge operation with the help of the army, with the aim of banishing the tuskers to the countryside and keeping them there. “This project is to prevent danger to the public and the elephants, which really should be living in a more suitable environment,” BMA deputy governor Thirachai Wuthitham said. Unemployed elephants and their handlers are a common sight on the crowded and polluted streets of the Thai capital. Accidents are common, with recent cases including an animal that broke its leg falling in a sewer and another that was hit by a bus at night. BMA officials said the Thai army would provide transport to take the elephants home after they are surveyed and tagged with microchips containing such information as their home provinces and towns. City and provincial authorities will then be held responsible for any elephants and handlers found to have strayed back into Bangkok.
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