The three-year-old female baby elephant was shackled in front of the Butterfly & Orchid Garden on Soi Yodsane, causing an outpouring online over the condition the elephant was being kept in – and to much distress of some people, that the elephant was being used as a tourist attraction.
In response, the Phuket Livestock Office dispatched officers to ensure the elephant was in good health and not suffering maltreatment.
“We sent officers to investigate last week after the complaints were brought to our attention on Aug 19,” Phuket Livestock Chief Surajit Witchuwan told The Phuket News yesterday (Aug 31).
“We found that the baby elephant is a female, three years old. The poor little elephant was chained up to a pole,” he said.
“The owner was using her so that tourist would buy fruit to feed to her,” he added.
The baby female elephant is Phuket-born, Mr Surajit noted, adding that she was born at the ATV Seaview camp further along the same road.
“Her father is Plai Thip Yiram and her mother is Phang Lun Yiram (same surname noted),” he said.
“We ordered the owner of the elephant to treat her better,” Mr Surajit explained.
“The owner is now building a contained area where she can be kept without being under tight restraints. The area is shaded. It is ubnder construction now, but she will be moved there once it is completed,” he added.
“The baby elephant won’t be on show beside the road anymore,” he said.
“I told owner to take good care of elephant’s health, too. Next, this baby will get its own ID number and microchip when she turns 7 years old,” Mr Surajit added.