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Official inspects elephant camps after Big Buddha complaint

Official inspects elephant camps after Big Buddha complaint

PHUKET: The Acting Chief of the Phuket Provincial Livestock Office has acted on a complaint sent to The Phuket News by a reader about a very young elephant being used to make money from tourists at the side of the road that leads to Big Buddha.

animalsnatural-resourcestourism
By Waranya Prompinpiras

Tuesday 19 March 2019, 02:09PM


Manas Thepparuk went to inspect the area after being made aware of the complaint that the 1.5-year-old baby elephant looked distressed and dehydrated.

Mr Manas told The Phuket News, “On Wednesday (Mar 13) I went to inspect two different elephant camps on the road to Big Buddha. The first was ATV Seaview and the second, Phra Yai Chang Thai, both located at Moo 10 in Chalong.”

“I found that ATV Seaview has a total area of 10 rai which is large enough for elephants. There is a building for the elephants to sleep in at night, a shower area, walking space and enough food and drinking water,” Mr Manas explained.

“In one area of the camp I found one baby elephant, 5 years old, that was born in the camp. Tourists are allowed to feed it certain foods such as bananas, cucumbers and sugarcane.”

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“In the second area I found eight elephants; one 3 years old and seven over 20 years old. The elephants over 20 years old are used for tourist to ride,” Mr Manas said.

“The mahouts bathe the elephants once a day. They leave drinking water in a plastic bucket for them and if it’s not enough, a hose is used to feed them. However, the mahouts use water sparingly due to the lack of water on the island,” he said.

“Later, I went to 'Phra Yai Chang Thai' elephant camp which is also near Big Buddha,” Mr Manas continued. “The camp has a total area of 27 rai. There is a building for elephants to sleep in, a shower area, walking space and enough food and drinking water.”

“Due to the water shortages that Phuket has been facing, the water supply at both camps was low so both owners agreed to purchase water in order to maintain a sufficient supply for daily bathing of all elephants and for drinking,” Mr Manus added.

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