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Battle over ownership of Phuket elephant continues

PHUKET: Police have today (Aug 1) confirmed that they are still waiting for the final documents needed for them to conclude their investigation into the tenuous battle for rights to ownership of an elephant that began in late March this year.

By Shela Riva

Tuesday 1 August 2017, 11:43AM

The elephant, named either Yo or Nampetch, is still being held at the Amazing Bukit Safari camp in Chalong. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

The elephant, named either Yo or Nampetch, is still being held at the Amazing Bukit Safari camp in Chalong. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

On March 24, Cdr Surasak Inphrom of the Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command in Phang Nga together with fellow Navy officers and the brother of the owner of a female elephant named “Yo” went to Chalong Police Station to file a report stating that an elephant at an elephant camp in Chalong is an elephant which was stolen from Krabi 14 years ago.

The report was filed after Mr Somsak Reangngern, 35, Yo’s mahout and the younger brother of the owner got sent a photo of an elephant being kept at the Chalong elephant camp which he was sure was Yo.

However, the people from the Amazing Bukit Safari camp in Chalong where the elephant was found to held were adamant that the elephant was called Nampetch and that they had the registration documents to prove it. (See story here.)

The two parties were given until Mar 31 to present freshly produced copies of their original elephant registration documents to police in the hope of resolving who – if anyone – legally owns the pachyderm. (See story here.)

“We are waiting for the documents of evidence for the investigation before sending the case to court,” said Lt Col Winai Poonsawat, deputy chief of the Ao Nang police in Krabi province.

“The case still hasn’t gone to court so we still don’t know who is the rightful owner. However, I can confirm that we have charged Raewat Chernkaew, the man who sold the elephant to the camp, with group theft at night using a vehicle,” said Lt Col Winai.

Right now the elephant is still in the same place, at the camp. I don’t know if the elephant is working or not. It most likely is, because the case isn’t finished,” Lt Col Winai said.

“It will probably take another month or two. These things take a while,” he added.



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Christy Sweet | 01 August 2017 - 17:28:26

Thailand was recently in the BBC news rated as the most abusive nation to elephants, mostly from chaining them and lack of space.  I can personally attest horses also suffer from lack of free running fields in this way too at most Thai managed stables, once ill or injured, warehoused in the stall for years on end.

BenPendejo | 01 August 2017 - 13:05:39

Appalling level of inaction over something that should have been easy to settle...but typical of things here, the legal avenue has been obfuscated and twisted by graft and lies in such a way that it shows that everyone is the owner.  Again, the true loser is the poor elephant.  Regardless of what has been happening with the legal case, the only thing that can be assured is that the elephant has co...

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