Connect with us

Phuket

Phuket camp owner defends berserk elephant

Published

 on 

PHUKET: The owner of an elephant that recently went berserk and injured two Swedish tourists has defended the beast, blaming its mahout for the incident.

Trin Khanwilaikul, owner of ‘Camp Chang’ in Kalim, said the elephant named ‘Captain’ would not be punished for the rampage, which also damaged a car.

He is a nice elephant, but he had the wrong mahout. It is like a car being driven by someone other than its owner,” she said.

Captain, a 20-year-old bull, is one of seven elephants owned by the camp. Only two are males.

On the afternoon of January 25, Swedish tourists Gustav Carlsson, 31, and John Haraldsson were riding Captain at the camp.

Mr Carlsson’s newly-wedded wife, 31-year-old Hanna Agnarsson-Carlsson, and the long-time couple’s 10-year-old son Oscar were on another elephant. Mr Haraldsson’s wife and four-year-old son were on a third.

All were part of a large party of Swedes who attended the Agnarsson-Carlsson wedding in Phuket the day before.

Mr Carlsson said Captain’s mahout had been poking the bull’s head and neck with a sharp stick for 20 minutes prior to the incident.

The elephant seemed to be getting angry, he said.

When Captain stopped moving, a mahout on the elephant behind fired a slingshot at his bottom.

With this, Captain went berserk.

The raging bull grabbed a tree, pulling it down onto a car. “We were shocked and very scared. We thought we would get killed.”

The mahout jumped off. “The elephant continued to smash more trees,” Mr Carlsson said.

The two tourists managed to get off Captain’s back by grabbing an overhead cable and jumping onto the car below.

We jumped off the car. Suddenly the elephant rolled the car over before stepping through its window.

Then he turned to us. While we were trying to run away I realized I had hurt my left foot. I’m not sure if the elephant stepped on it and broke the bone.”

With a bone protruding out of his left leg, Mr Carlsson managed to make it hopping on one leg into a nearby hut, where the rest of the party were already hiding.

Terrified, the group cowered in the hut while the elephant continued its rampage.

The bad stuff lasted about 15 minutes,” Mr Carlsson said. “I heard the elephant was back to normal about 30 minutes later.”

My son saw the whole thing. He was very scared and was crying a lot. Luckily my daughter wasn’t there,” he said.

Mr Haraldsson flew home to Sweden on January 27 for treatment on his bruised knee.

Mr Carlsson was treated at Phuket International Hospital for a broken left leg and bruised heel.

SOS International Hospital from Denmark will pay for everything, including the treatment and my flight back to my home town,” Mr Carlsson said.

The family is scheduled to fly back to Sweden today.

I think we’ll come back to Thailand, probably in the next three to four years. But we’ll never ride an elephant again for sure,” he said.

We asked the camp for some compensation. They gave us the money for the trekking back. But it’s not so much compared to the cost of treatment, which is very expensive,” he said.

I’m not sure if we’ll ask for more money from them,” he added.

On Tuesday two people from the camp visited Mr Carlsson, presenting him with a bouquet of flowers.

Camp owner Ms Trin was keen to defend animal welfare standards at the camp.

We treat our elephants very well. You can see that our elephants are very healthy and big,” Ms Trin said.

She complained that the media had focused its attention on this particular incident.

Other places have had much worse accidents than us,” she said.

Why were they not published? One tourist even died while on an elephant trek, but I can’t say where.”

— Atchaa Khamlo

 

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.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Environment4 hours ago

Sea turtle choked to death on plastic waste

Thailand4 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Big Feast For Monkeys At Lopburi Festival

South4 hours ago

Buddhists and Muslims rally for peace together in South Thailand

Sponsored12 hours ago

What makes Tops Fine Food the ideal place to shop for premium food in Bangkok

Thailand4 hours ago

Cowardly rapist arrested for a fifth time in Isaan

Songkhla5 hours ago

Russian crewman’s hand cut off in Songkhla ship accident

Transport6 hours ago

Cat out of the bag – Stowaway found in JFK passenger’s luggage

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand6 hours ago

Murderer offers 100,000 baht to netizens to cut off his EM ankle bracelet

World Cup6 hours ago

Football fans riot in Brussels after Belgium defeat

Tourism6 hours ago

TAT holds Amazing Thailand Fest 2022 in India

Phuket7 hours ago

Gus, 7, youngest Thai person to reach Everest Base Camp

Expats7 hours ago

New direct flight between Muscat and Bangkok

Bangkok7 hours ago

Elderly Australian amputee abandoned in a hostel receiving care

Crime7 hours ago

Man arrested in South Thailand for attempted murder in Phuket

Thailand8 hours ago

Pattaya motorcycle taxi rider arrested for sexually harassing Thai singer

Cosmetic Surgery8 hours ago

Boobs ban! Macro-textured implants outlawed in Thailand

Thailand1 year ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

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

Phuket2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years 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

Trending