Connect with us


Phuket baby elephant probe sparks raids



PHUKET: The inspection of elephant camps in Southern Thailand, geared to ensure that all pachyderms on the premises are legal, started on Monday and will include searches of the locations in Phuket where elephants were seized earlier this year.

“We received an order on Monday from National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department [DNP] Director-General Damrong Phidet to send Regional Natural Resources and Environment Crime Suppression Division [NREC] officers to investigate elephant camps in the South,” NREC Superintendent Watcharin Phusit told the Phuket Gazette today.

“DNP and NREC officers are to check the numbers of elephants in each camp and investigate further, should they uncover evidence that might indicate that any of the elephants are being kept illegally,” he said.

The investigation is set to be completed by September 30, Col Watcharin said.

In February this year, Col Watcharin headed the investigation that led to three baby elephants being seized from three different camps in Phuket: the ATV @ Hill Adventure Tour camp on the road to the Big Buddha image in Chalong; the Elephant Camp at the Laguna complex in Cherng Talay; and the PhuThai Souvenir Market in Chalong.

Samples were taken from the baby elephants in order to conduct DNA tests and confirm whether or not the elephants were related to their alleged mothers or if they were illegally taken from the wild or born to an elephant illegally taken from the wild.

Col Watcharin expected DNA test results to be available by the end of February. That date was pushed back to June, but still Col Watcharin waiting.

“We have not received any DNA test results from the DNP veterinarian team who are conducting them. I met with them in August and asked for an update. They told me they were still working on it,” he told the Gazette.

“I have no idea what the reasons for the delay are, or why we had to seize the baby elephants before the testing was done.”

The DNA tests are expected to prove conclusively whether or not the baby elephants are the offspring of female elephants seized at the Pang Chang Sai Yok Elephant Park in Kanchanaburi province in January.

Col Watcharin added that he was worried that the tests were taking so long.

“If the results reveal that the baby elephants are legal, then the DNP has been wasting their and the camp owners’ time,” he said.

— Orawin Narabal


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:

Eastern Thailand3 hours ago

German man believed to have monkeypox briefly fled police

Thailand5 hours ago

New app to help migrant women in Thailand facing abuse

Cambodia6 hours ago

Nigerian man recovers from monkeypox, handed to Cambodian authorities

Sponsored2 days ago

The return of the most important coffee event in Thailand

World6 hours ago

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

Thailand6 hours ago

How to get the Thailand Elite Visa?

Transport7 hours ago

BTS is offering a free ride… with your mom

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Bangkok7 hours ago

Fire at Energy Ministry’s compound in Bangkok

Phuket8 hours ago

2 meth busts in Phuket this past week

Politics8 hours ago

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

Chon Buri10 hours ago

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

Chon Buri10 hours ago

Police transferred, safety measures enacted in wake of Mountain B fire

Bangkok11 hours ago

Bangkok taxi driver who snapped himself raping teen gets jailed

Video11 hours ago

Building a $100mil business in Thailand feat. Michael Kenner | Thaiger Podcast Ep. 1

Tourism12 hours ago

Major jump in Thailand Airbnb searches

Economy13 hours ago

Thailand’s hotels are short on workers

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