Connect with us


Two baby elephants seized in Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette



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


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Protests39 mins ago

Protest groups vow continued demonstrations this weekend

Protests3 hours ago

Police to prosecute yesterday’s protesters for Covid-19 violation

Thailand4 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Pfizer vax approved, IATA testing vaccine travel pass, Covid Update | June 25

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand4 hours ago

Man wanted for attempted murder arrested on train

Thailand5 hours ago

The list of high/medium/low risk countries for travelling to Thailand now

World6 hours ago

Rare, giant barking deer makes appearance in Cambodia

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Anutin says health system won’t collapse despite shortages

World6 hours ago

Fire at Chinese martial arts school kills 18, mainly kids

Thailand7 hours ago

Man allegedly steals almost 300,000 baht from monk

Thailand8 hours ago

Illegal cigarette shipment busted, valued at 30 million baht

Thailand10 hours ago

Pair arrested for allegedly stealing prepaid phone cards worth 240 million baht, take home almost 150

Best of10 hours ago

Top 5 Indian Restaurants in Bangkok

Phuket11 hours ago

A Korean restaurant catches fire at a Phuket shopping centre

Best of11 hours ago

Top 10 Provinces to visit in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine approved for emergency use in Thailand

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Phuket4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8