Safari firm ordered to move elephants

RAWAI: Baanchang Safari Phuket was today given until October 1 to remove its 13 elephants from premises next to a local school, or face prosecution. The order was given at a meeting at the offices of the Rawai Tambon Administration Organization (OrBorTor). “Muang Phuket School lodged an official complaint about the elephants and we asked for them to be removed about five months ago,” Yutthana Chandee, chairman of the OrBorTor, explained after the meeting. “But they’re still there.” The elephants are kept at Baanchang’s grounds, which are behind the school, just south of the Chalong Circle. The school lodged the complaint because of the elephants’ foul smell and because teachers and students were worried that elephant urine might seep into the ground and contaminate the water in the school’s well. “I appreciated the school’s concern,” said Hansuek Taboran, managing director of Baanchang Safari, “so I had the elephants moved to the other end of the park, away from the school.” He said that, at today’s meeting, the company was at first given one month to remove the animals. He had asked for an extension to eight months, he said, because he had been unable to find a new place to keep them. This request was denied, K. Yutthana explained, because those at the meeting felt that the company had been given enough time already. As a concession, Baanchang Safari was given an extra two weeks, until October 1, to move the animals. K. Hanseuk also learned at the meeting that his application to extend the company’s expired tourist business operating license had been denied by the Registration Office of the local TAT.

Phuket News
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