Connect with us


Blood test for Lucky the elephant goes awry



PHUKET: An agitated elephant injured two people and damaged two vehicles while officers were drawing his blood as part of a general health and DNA check on Saturday.

A total of 219 elephants were given blood tests at Nakkerd Hills camps by officers from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP), who are currently investigating elephant trafficking on the island.

A similar incident occurred on Thursday, where an elephant panicked and rammed into a pick-up truck while officers tried to take a sample of his blood for testing (story here).

“We arrived at about 11:30am to find Phuket Safari staff, Rawai officers and tourists in a state of shock,” said Capt Somkiet Sarasit of Chalong Police.

“Staff were trying to withdraw blood from behind the ear of an 8-year-old elephant named ‘Plai Lucky’. His keeper, named Sorapong Chalaemtaisong, 37, was perched on top on him, keeping him calm. However, as soon as Mr Sorapong climbed down to assist the officers with something, Lucky managed to get away.

“At the same time, another elephant walking by saw the needle and became agitated. He bumped into Lucky, who in turn panicked, used his trunk to push officials aside and ran into a pick-up truck and mini-van.”

A woman received injuries on her legs when she ran into a metallic object in the panic that ensued, and a man sustained injuries on his forehead (above the left eye) after being pushed into the van.

“Mr Sorapong attempted to calm Lucky with a banana, but failed. Another staff member, named Chalermwit Siripak, 29, then ran up to him and hopped onto the seat on his back,” said Capt Somkiet.

Luckily, Mr Chalermwit managed to calm Lucky down and no further damages or injuries were caused.

Lucky’s owner paid for hospital expenses, while vehicle damages are being assessed and negotiated with the insurance company.

“The officers have told us that they will look into ‘safer’ methods to perform the tests. They also said it may be better to test for blood in a more suitable environment, without tourists and valuable property nearby,” said Capt Somkiet.

The issue has been set to rest for now, as all blood tests have been completed for the time being.

— Winai Sarot


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Bangkok26 mins ago

83 Bangkok bars don’t meet safety standards

Politics33 mins ago

Anutin: “If I have to be the prime minister, I will be.”

Chon Buri44 mins ago

Cheap sound absorption panels believed to be cause of Mountain B fire

Sponsored30 mins ago

Super luxury villas in Phuket with breathtaking ocean views

Thailand1 hour ago

Thailand amongst Top 10 Best Countries for Expats | GMT

Tourism2 hours ago

55 tourists from Thailand go AWOL in South Korea

Eastern Thailand16 hours ago

German man believed to have monkeypox briefly fled police

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand17 hours ago

New app to help migrant women in Thailand facing abuse

Cambodia18 hours ago

Nigerian man recovers from monkeypox, handed to Cambodian authorities

World19 hours ago

Unusually heavy floods in Pakistan kill 549, thousands of homes damaged

Thailand19 hours ago

How to get the Thailand Elite Visa?

Transport20 hours ago

BTS is offering a free ride… with your mom

Bangkok20 hours ago

Fire at Energy Ministry’s compound in Bangkok

Phuket21 hours ago

2 meth busts in Phuket this past week

Politics21 hours ago

NIDA Poll: PM Prayut should not extend term after August 24

Chon Buri23 hours ago

Mountain Pub fire: 15 victims dead, owner arrested, club uninsured

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11