Nine elephants were seized from AT Hill Adventure Tour, eight from ATV Seaview Tour, two from Laguna Excursions in Cherng Talay and 18 from Siam Safari.
All elephants are allowed to keep working, but cannot be moved from the camps until the investigation, which aims to determine the elephant’s legality, has been completed.
Elephant trekking camps are required to have legal documents showing that their elephants are registered.
The investigation follows yesterday’s case of Popeye and Joey, two young elephants who were being investigated by authorities. The animals have since been seized after it was found they were being illegally held.
The legality of a third young male elephant, two-year-old Johnny, seized on February 10 from the Phu Thai Review Souvenir Market is still under investigation.
In addition to the accusations of illegally owning elephants, the owners of the AT Hill Adventure Tour company were also charged with forest reserve encroachment. The only land document they possess is a SorPorKor land document, which allows it to be used only for agricultural purposes.
The Director General of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP), Damrong Phidet, joined with the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division (NED) on Monday to investigate Phuket elephant trekking camps, as part of a nationwide investigation.
Authorities are continuing to investigate Phuket restaurants to see if any have elephant on the menu.