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Two baby elephants seized in Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Two baby elephants seized in Phuket | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Two baby elephants seized in Phuket today will be sent to an elephant reserve in the Northern Thailand province of Lampang.

Meanwhile, investigators are continuing their probe into whether three elephant camps near Phuket’s Big Buddha image are encroaching on protected forest land.

The transfer of the two baby male elephants – Popeye and Joey – follows officials from Bangkok arriving in Phuket earlier this month to investigate the origins of three baby elephants in Phuket.

This morning, Popeye was seized at the ATV Elephant Camp on the hill to Phuket’s famed Big Buddha image and Joey was taken into custody at an elephant camp near the Laguna complex in Cherng Talay.

Popeye and Joey were found to be the offspring of female elephants seized at the Pang Chang Sai Yok Elephant Park in Kanchanaburi, explained Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) officer Tassanes Petkong.

DNP officers raided the Sai Yok camp in January to investigate the 51 elephants being kept there. “The investigating officers found that the camp did not have the correct documents for 19 elephants,” Mr Tassanes said.

All 19 pachyderms were seized by officials to be handed over to the Thai Elephant Conservation Center (TECC), a state-run enterprise in Lampang.

“The baby elephants [Popeye and Joey] will be reunited with their mothers there,” Mr Tassanes said.

Investigations into the Sai Yok camp led officers to learn that three baby elephants were sent to Phuket.

“Another 10 elephants at the Sai Yok Camp are now being held for investigation,” he added.

Meanwhile, investigations into the legality of the baby elephant at the Phuthai Souvenir Market in Chalong, one of the baby elephants investigated in the February 11 raids, have yet to prove conclusive.

“They have the correct documents for the baby’s mother, but we are still waiting for DNA tests to confirm whether or not the mother and the baby elephant are related.” said Metee Meechai, director DNP’s Wildlife Preservation Division for Region 5, based in Nakhon Sri Thammarat.

Two more elephant camps, Siam Safari and At Hill Adventure Tour, on the hill to Big Buddha image were being investigated, Mr Methee added.

“All of their elephants will be investigated. If the camp owners do not have the right documents for the elephants, they will be punished and the elephants will also be handed over to the TECC,” he said.

Mr Tassanes said that legal prosecution will left to the local authorities to pursue.

Present at today’s raids were officers from Chalong Police and the Phuket branch of the Tourist Police.

Col Watcharin Phusit, the superintendent of the regional Natural Resources and Environment Crime Suppression Division, earlier reported to the Phuket Gazette that anyone found guilty in the case will get up to four years in jail, a 40,000 baht fine, or both, in accordance with Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act.

Joining the camp raids today were Phuket Forestry Department officers, who seized logs made from protected trees on the mount above the ATV Elephant Camp.

“We also found a backhoe at the site, but we did not find any workers on the hill, so we will work with Chalong Polices to find the suspects,” said Amnard Soikiew, the director of the Forestry Department’s Protection and Suppression Division in Bangkok.

His department is also investigating the land titles for the sites occupied by the ATV camp, Siam Safari and At Hill Adventure Tours.

“According to our investigation, the owner of the ATV camp has only a SorPorKor document [for the land in question], which was issued after the camp was established,” Mr Amnard said.

SorPorKor documents, which are issued by the Forestry Department, bestow the holder the right to use the land for agricultural purposes only.

“Meanwhile, the owners of Siam Safari and At Hill Adventure Tours do not have the right documents to prove they own the land. Their case will be sent to the court, and if they claim the land belongs to them, they can prove it to the court,” Mr Amnard said.

“If they are found to have no rights to the land, they will have to vacate the property,” he said.

— Atchaa Khamlo



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Phuket

UPDATE: Ancient cannon found off Koh Racha aged from Rattanakosin period

The Thaiger

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UPDATE: Ancient cannon found off Koh Racha aged from Rattanakosin period | The Thaiger

An object found near Koh Racha Noi off Phuket’s southern coast yesterday is believed to be ancient cannon from the Rattanakosin period (1782-1932).

An investigation has been launched after the object, similar to an ancient cannon along with an accompanying ‘base’, was found underwater just off the coast of Koh Racha Noi.

Read more about the discovery HERE.

Divers from the Royal Thai Navy inspected the two mysterious objects yesterday afternoon. The object, similar to an ancient cannon, is more than 1 metre long and 20 centimetres wide. The ‘base’ measured about 155 x 126 centimetres. It is believed to be the structure that holds the cannon in place.

The Phuket Vice Governor Tanyawat Chanpinit says the ancient cannon is dated back to the beginning of the Rattanakosin period (1782-1932).

Officials from the Fine Art Department are organising its recovery and transport to the Thalang Museum so it can be properly examined and restored.

UPDATE: Ancient cannon found off Koh Racha aged from Rattanakosin period | News by The Thaiger UPDATE: Ancient cannon found off Koh Racha aged from Rattanakosin period | News by The Thaiger UPDATE: Ancient cannon found off Koh Racha aged from Rattanakosin period | News by The Thaiger UPDATE: Ancient cannon found off Koh Racha aged from Rattanakosin period | News by The Thaiger UPDATE: Ancient cannon found off Koh Racha aged from Rattanakosin period | News by The Thaiger

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Business

Beam me up Phuket – new space theme hotel for the island

Bill Barnett

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Beam me up Phuket – new space theme hotel for the island | The Thaiger

A 150 key space themed hotel is under development in Kathu, Phuket, by a Singaporean group .

Located close to the Central Festival and Makro complexes, the project is expected to open next year according to a report in TTG Asia.

The One Pioneer – Beyond Space Travel hotel say it’s “highly focused on an outer space storyline and will have an indoor observatory”.

Janette Lee, founder and CEO, says the hotel is poised to open sometime in 2020.

“Tourism business in Thailand and in Phuket will continue to grow but there is still a lack of new attractions. Our vision is to bring to life the dreams of mankind for an experience of space on earth. Our target markets will be both local and international tourists.”

According to Lee, the company is seeking partners from Thailand or elsewhere to complete the project. She has had discussions with potential partners and investors during the South East Asia Hotel Investment Summit which took place in Bangkok last week.

Prior to entering the tourism business, Lee had sold her private education business and social enterprise in Singapore. She also used to work in the financial sector.

The project cost is estimated at $40 million.

Beam me up Phuket - new space theme hotel for the island | News by The Thaiger Beam me up Phuket - new space theme hotel for the island | News by The Thaiger

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Business

Skål International heads to Phuket, June 2020

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Skål International heads to Phuket, June 2020 | The Thaiger

by Paul Poole

Tourism industry professionals from all over the world are expected to descend on Phuket between June 25-27, 2020, for the 49th edition of Skål Asia Congress.

With more than 15,000 members in almost 90 different countries, Skål International is the world’s largest organisation of tourism professionals. Through countless local, national and international events, Skål International promotes global tourism and networking, pursuing topics of common interest.

Founded in France in 1934 following a trip to Scandinavia (“skål” means cheers), Skål International has since grown to almost 400 clubs in more than 90 countries around the world. Uniting various branches of the travel and tourism industry, its members, which include industry managers and executives, work to maximise networking on a global scale and promote a responsible tourism industry.

The Skål Congresses are held across the world and attract stakeholders from various parts of the tourism industry. Held at Laguna Phuket, Skål Asia Congress 2020 is an opportunity for Skål members in Asia to meet and discuss the trends and ideas in the tourism industry as well as network with their peers around a theme of “Go Eco 2020 – Ecological & Sustainable Tourism”.

Attendees will include airlines, travel and tour companies, online booking portals (OTAs), hotel owners and GMs, luxury cruise ship industry, technology companies selling hotel and web based services, telecoms, website services and discount programs.

The Skål Congresses are known for incorporating the host location and using local partners to arrange formal and informal excursions and events. Skål Asia Congress 2020 will feature a Pan-Asian ecological showcase and exhibition, a Phuket street food cocktail reception, OTOP (One Tambon One Product) showcase and tourist tours.

For more information contact The Sponsorship Experts, Paul Poole

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