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Phuket police on the lookout for mahout and his tourist attraction elephant

PHUKET: Police in Cherng Talay are currently looking for a mahout with a five-year-old elephant which he is using as a tourist attraction at various beaches along Phuket’s west coast, most recently Surin and Bang Tao.

animals, police, tourism,


Tanyaluk Sakoot

Friday 29 July 2016, 11:03AM


A photo of the elephant and mahout taken on Bang Tao Beach on Wednesday (July 27). Photo: Vicky Kiely
A photo of the elephant and mahout taken on Bang Tao Beach on Wednesday (July 27). Photo: Vicky Kiely

The mahout, who is of Asian nationality, carries a bag of fruit with him as he walks along the beach with the elephant and asks tourists to buy the fruit which they can then feed to the elephant.

In a 39 second video taken on Wednesday (July 27) and passed The Phuket News yesterday (July 28), the mahout is seen walking along Bang Tao beach with the elephant and the recorder asks the mahout how old the elephant is, the mahout holds up one hand and the recorder asks “five?”.

The recorder then asks which company the mahout comes from, he shakes his head.

Deputy Chief of the Cherng Talay Police Lt Col Jarun Bangprasert told The Phuket News yesterday, “After finding out about this incident I have ordered my colleagues to check Surin Beach for any signs of the mahout and his elephant. If we can find them we will ask for the mahout’s identification and his paperwork for owning the elephant.

“We will also ask the mahout the purpose of him having the elephant on the beach. After that we will contact the relevant officials,” Lt Col Jarun said.

Piyawat Sukon, who as chief of the Khao Phra Thaew Non-Hunting Area Office in Thalang and responsible for the welfare of wildlife animals in Phuket and neighbouring provinces said, “We are not currently aware what kind of elephant this is. So far nobody has been able to trace the mahout or the elephant.

“Until we receive information from officials or police on the whereabouts of the elephant we will not be able to take any action. However, if we find that the elephant has been taken from the wild it will be our responsibility to deal with the issue.

“If it is found that the elephant has not been taken from the wild it will be down to the Livestock Office to take care of the matter and make sure the elephant is sent to Lampang province,” he said.

“The beaches of Phuket are not ideal places for a wild elephant to be, I believe they should be in a nature park such as the one currently under construction (see story here),” he added.

No official from the Livestock Office was available for comment when contacted by The Phuket News.

The Phuket News were first made aware of the mahout and his elephant about three weeks ago when he was spotted on Patong Beach.

When Patong Police were contacted by The Phuket News at that time they said that they were unaware of such incidents and that they had not seen or been able to find a mahout with an elephant in their area.   

 

 

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Kurt | 05 August 2016 - 09:54:43

Baby elephants are suddenly popping up left and right.
How about the chained baby elephants on the hill to Big Buddha?
I know that Big Buddha hill is for not known reasons a 'no go area' for thai authorities, But a elephant check up there harms nobody.

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Joe12 | 05 August 2016 - 08:09:38

Christy... nope havent changed moved or twisted anything. Cant be wrong if i quote an act of parliament. And no police havent accepted responsibility at all.

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Joe12 | 04 August 2016 - 18:14:47

Christy...read the Act, s.5 states "the ministry of Agriculture and Cooeratives shall take charge of and control of this act." - How can it be an opinion or a twist of anything? it's a just a plain simple fact. Police haven't indicated responsibility for anything.

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Christy Sweet | 04 August 2016 - 14:08:19

Kurt, it's actually called " Moving the goalposts" and it is a tactic widely used when one cannot admit one is wrong. I consider it the weakest of debating tactics. 
 Joe 12 Despite your opinion, the police have already indicated it is their responsibility to investigate this allegation. (And it should be 'you're' as a contraction of you are...) 

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Kurt | 04 August 2016 - 09:52:21

Christy Sweet, You see it, how Joe12 twist things, even make it comparing 'apples & pears' again.
The best is to ignore him.

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Joe12 | 04 August 2016 - 06:53:00

Christy...If the police want to investigate thats their prerogative. I am not their operations commander. If your that concerned ring him and ask. Just a waste of manpower. I suppose you want them to investigate the pollution and cleanliness of hospitals next. Just use a bit of common sense.

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MrLion | 03 August 2016 - 16:39:24

"We will also ask the mahout the purpose of him having the elephant on the beach"
What an interesting question indeed. I'm sure it's because the elephant needed to stretch his legs and to let him discover the joys of the sea. 

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Christy Sweet | 03 August 2016 - 15:07:54

JOe 12, The police are involved as quoted- '" Deputy Chief of the Cherng Talay Police Lt Col Jarun Bangprasert told The Phuket News yesterday, “After finding out about this incident I have ordered my colleagues to check Surin Beach for any signs of the mahout and his elephant. If we can find them we will ask for the mahout’s identification and his paperwork for owning the elephant."' Of course they are not going to take an elephant into the evidence room, but contact relevant authorities to deal with it.

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Joe12 | 03 August 2016 - 09:30:20

Ed..like i said not a police matter. Try reading s.5 of the Act which states "the ministry of Agriculture and Cooeratives shall take charge of and control of this act"

Just because everything is illegal police are not mandated to enquire into everything eg customs, health. It's pretty obvious that they don't have the manpower nor expertise to enquire into everything. That's why the government has the various departments to oversee and enforce their portfolios because of their everyday expertise. Would have thought that to be pretty obvious.

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Kurt | 01 August 2016 - 07:03:53

Interesting to know by now that this baby elephant has Tri Trang as home base, and by now 'travels' already 4 weeks the west coast of Phuket, with Mahout of course.
And never was the mahout asked for his identification and to show the by thai law obligated 'elephant papers/documents'?
TIT!
Very bad that thai officials from different Phuket departments are just plain liars when they say:
" so far nobody has been able to trace the mahout or the elephant".

A farce and a significant prove of 'incompetence', or corruption.
Poor thai Phuket with show off elephant cruelty.

Always amazing how good Phuket officials are in press releases and sitting on their hands instead of working constructively to make a better Phuket.

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