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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.

animalspolicetourism
By 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.

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.

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.

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...) 

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.

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.

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. 

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.&qu...

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'...

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 t...

Ed Sanders | 31 July 2016 - 01:26:36

Ha!...leave it to Pal Joey to start spouting constitutional mandates as it pertains to the police.  It's called law enforcement you goof... it is illegal commerce on the beach...but regardless of what it is, the police are very likely being paid to turn a blind eye.  As a rule, the boys in brown are much more likely to be breaking the law than enforcing it.  It's just the way it is here Jo...

skip | 30 July 2016 - 10:50:51

that elephant usually lives at tri trang beach but due to low season and no tourists he is working the west coast beaches systematically for about a week at each beach.when talking to the police i suggested they never noticed it because the elephant was wearing sunglasses and a hat like a tourists.   he nearly fell off his chair laughing.if they cant find the elephant, just call me and i will trac...

Ed Sanders | 30 July 2016 - 09:57:54

Yes...I'm sure the boys in brown are searching high and low.  Meanwhile, airport officials are searching for a 747 that was last seen taxiing all over the airport.  Like everything else, there is no meaningful effort being put forth to rein in these heartless touts.  If there is baht to be made, right and wrong just doesn't matter to anyone, whether it involves the wildlife poacher in the ...

Kurt | 30 July 2016 - 08:09:49

This mahout + elephant are moving already weeks from beach to beach.
( Walking from beach to beach or transported by truck? Transport license is than needed here in Thailand)
And I have seen that police officers looked at it with interest at several beaches.
So I thought is was legal, and that many officials had meetings about it as many laws involved. ( hehehe)

If now, it seems, this was al...

Joe12 | 29 July 2016 - 17:19:00

samhayman...What on earth are you talking about? Constitutionally, Police are only mandated to handling criminal and traffic matters - not elephants, slow loris's or any other wildlife. 

samhayman | 29 July 2016 - 16:09:38

What a croc of s***! All those idiots that take animals to the beach to make money check in with the police first and pay to do it. Yes they know the police will eventually track them down but they're in on it as well, for the money. Of course they'll delay it as long as possible but it would take at least 1-2 hours max to find an elephant at the beach if you where blind!

And they keep ...

Andy | 29 July 2016 - 13:07:59

Some hard work for the police here: must be like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

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