The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


‘Unemployed’ elephants begin 500km walk home

‘Unemployed’ elephants begin 500km walk home

THAILAND: After waiting in vain for tourists near Pattaya for more than a year, five elephants and their owners are heading back to their northeastern home province of Surin – a 500 kilometre journey, on foot.

CoronavirusCOVID-19Chineseanimalstourismwildlife
By Bangkok Post

Wednesday 7 April 2021, 09:54AM


Five ‘unemployed’ elephants and their owners begin walking from Pattaya to their native province of Surin, in tambon Nong Prue of Bang Lamung district, Chon Buri, yesterday (Apr 6). Photo: Chaiyot Pupattanapong.

Five ‘unemployed’ elephants and their owners begin walking from Pattaya to their native province of Surin, in tambon Nong Prue of Bang Lamung district, Chon Buri, yesterday (Apr 6). Photo: Chaiyot Pupattanapong.

Members of five extended families were walking with their five elephants, with a pickup truck protecting the group in the front and the back, along the road beside the Map Prachan reservoir in tambon Nong Prue of Bang Lamung district yesterday (Apr 6).

Napalai Mai-ngam, 26, said five years ago she had brought her relatives and their tamed elephants from Surin to work at an elephant resort in tambon Lam Huay Yai of Bang Lamung. They had made a good living, she said, receiving a monthly salary of B15,000 per elephant plus tips from tourists who enjoyed riding their elephants on nature trails.

COVID-19 stopped everything in January last year. Their employer suspended paying their salaries when the Chinese tourists who formed the majority of their customers disappeared, she said.

With no immediate return of tourists in sight amid the continuing pandemic, the natives of Surin finally gave up hope and decided to go back to farming in their home province.

Ms Napalai said her group set off early yesterday morning when the weather was not too hot. The pachyderms would have to walk the roughly 500kms to Surin because the owners could not afford to hire big trucks to carry them. The owners also hoped their elephants could feed themselves by grazing along the way.

Ms Napalai estimated that it would take about two weeks for her group to reach their home district of Tha Tum in Surin.

She said she was very grateful to villagers who donated fruit, drinking water and food to them as they passed by.

Ms Napalai said some people asked for their bank account numbers to make cash donations, but her group politely declined the offer for fear of being criticised for trying to cash in on their elephants via a social media story,

They would only receive food and fruit for their elephants, she said. The group could be reached by phone on 093-3357062.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Kurt | 08 April 2021 - 09:44:43

Unbelieveble! Where is the Thai community spirit that some very rich Thai not willing to hire a few trucks and transport the jumbo's home. There are filthy rich Thai Hi-So's. That these poor animals must walk 'home' 500km is a bloody shame. This 500hm walk of these jumbo's is a 500km show what Thailand really is.

 

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Phuket rapid test on arrival: Foreigners to pay, Thais tested free

Sexpats abandon the legions of cheap prostitutes? C'mon, get real. And yes, I consider lovely yo...(Read More)


Temples urged to cremate COVID dead as national death toll escalates

Are people rubbing the corpses and then sticking their fingers in their noses or eyes? Oh wait,...(Read More)


Phuket rapid test on arrival: Foreigners to pay, Thais tested free

"....should avoid this country" Lala, that gives us a clue about the size of your brain if...(Read More)


Sputnik V to launch in Thailand

So, Pfizer is not yet registered and approved for use locally, has Sputnik V already gone through th...(Read More)


Full Phuket COVID restrictions order published

Until now Phuket Governor still didn't say that Phuket itself is a Red Zone when he mention Red-...(Read More)


Blood donations urged as COVID spurs shortage

I would give blood, did so for many years in the UK, but they will not accept me as I am too old...(Read More)


Blood donations urged as COVID spurs shortage

Seems Phuket Officialdom is not prepared for what ever the Covid-19 national death toll and infectio...(Read More)


Temples urged to cremate COVID dead as national death toll escalates

National Covid-19 death toll escalates. And what is mostly not vaccinated Phuket doing? It opens up ...(Read More)


Phuket rapid testing of arrivals begins

@Fascinated I would suggest visiting other provinces currently is not the smartest move??...(Read More)


Phuket rapid testing of arrivals begins

April 11 there was many people living in 2 hotels for many days in phuket whit Covid-19. One hotel ...(Read More)