PHUKET TOWN: Want to know the name of the elephant that left a steaming pile in your driveway? Chances are it can now be traced because 176 elephants on Phuket have had microchips implanted. Wiraparp Termkietpaisan, a vet from the Phuket Provincial Livestock Office (PPLO), said today that keeping tabs on the elephants from 23 camps will also enable authorities to tell when animals are brought onto the island illegally. Problems with unwanted waste and the safety of tourists on trekking tours could be monitored more closely too, he told a meeting at Provincial Hall of about 20 officers and interested parties. One checkpoint officer at today’s meeting told Vice-Governor Winai Buapradit that a man who recently trucked in two elephants was fined just 500 baht. “I don’t think he will get pain from this,” the officer said. “We should make penalties stiffer or we will have more trouble.” K. Wiraparp also called on the government to conduct regular training for officers and volunteers so that more people could take part in the campaign to sterilize the island’s many stray dogs. “It seems to me that the number of dogs never goes down at all,” he said.
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