Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Phuket elephant bolts, spooked by blood sample needle

PHUKET: Livestock officials carrying out the current campaign to identify and register all legal elephants in Phuket got a serious fright yesterday (Jan 19) when a 15-year-old bull elephant reared and bolted while the officers were trying take a blood sample.

By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Friday 20 January 2017, 12:10PM

A team of 30 officials from the Phuket Provincial Livestock Office were taking blood samples and checking microchip implants from the six elephants at the Phrayai Changthai elephant camp in Soi Yodsanae, in Chalong, when the incident happened.

“When we came to check the 15-year-old male elephant called ‘Kongthong’, the mahout warned us that the elephant would not like this,” explained Thawee Sawadwech, Livestock Office Chief for Phuket’s Muang District.

However, the officers continued with their efforts and inserted the large needle.

“Kongthong reared his head up then ran off. His mahout couldn’t control him, but luckily the elephant stopped about about 100 metres away,” Mr Thawee said.

However, while Kongthong was fleeing, he bumped into a pickup truck belonging to a trainee at the camp, causing minor damage to the vehicle.

“Kongthong did not suffer any serious injuries in the collision, and the elephant camp owner paid for damage,” Mr Thawee confirmed.

“Thankfully nobody was injured or killed,” Mr Thawee said.

Splash Beach Club

“Although we didn’t get the full standard volume of blood sample from Kongthong, we did get 6cc, which is enough to carry out our DNA tests,” he added.

The campaign to crack down on elephants trafficked onto the island began on Wednesday (Jan 18), with National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department (DNP) and PPLO officers setting themselves a five-day deadline to check and confirm the identity of all 222 elephants in 23 camps across the island.

To get the campaign rolling, officers on Wednesday tested 67 elephants, including 32 pachyderms that perform at the popular Phuket FantaSea tourist attraction in Kamala. (See story here.)

“We have 115 more elephants to test. I am pretty sure we will finish on time,” Surajit Witchuwan, Chief of Phuket Provincial Livestock Office told The Phuket News today.

Elephant owners have until next Thursday (Jan 26) to register their pachyderms with the DNP, Supot Praedpring, Director of the DNP regional office in Nakhon Sri Thammarat, warned on Wednesday.

“After this day, any elephants not correctly registered with the DNP will be seized and the owner will face legal action,” Mr Supot warned.

Additional reporting by Eakkapop Thongtub



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.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here


Phuket community
Boy, 14, killed as Phuket suffers worst Songkran road safety record in years

Don't expect a serious reaction as respons from Governor and other top brass who are responsible...(Read More)

Phuket Songkran road accident toll climbs to two dead

Reading the final Phuket road accident reports ( and that are just the official ones) it justified t...(Read More)

Outsider PM touted as impasse breaker

Elections done, the army couldn't delay it any longer. But now they control the deadlock, the &#...(Read More)

Filipino killed by drunk driver

...what are your 'both counts' ? And: What license matter? And what is strange this foreigne...(Read More)

American, Thai partner in hiding, fearful of charges for seastead south of Phuket

Capt B is right about the thai exclusive economic zone. But what a missed chance for thai government...(Read More)

Local residents dive in to clean filthy Patong canal

If the other 99% of locals disposed of their rubbish properly then K. Theerapong wouldn't have t...(Read More)

American, Thai partner in hiding, fearful of charges for seastead south of Phuket

Mr Chad & Mrs Nadia did not design, construct, positioned, paid for anything of that kind. The b...(Read More)

AirAsia’s failed ad campaign is a reminder of the perils of word play

What a fun story, linguistic confusion meets cultural clash. This current example being triggered by...(Read More)

American, Thai partner in hiding, fearful of charges for seastead south of Phuket

haha...a threat to national security? More like using a sledge hammer to crack open a peanut by a ty...(Read More)

American, Thai partner in hiding, fearful of charges for seastead south of Phuket

If it was China building another army base and loading it with weapons, they would tell Thailand to ...(Read More)