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.

“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
Dozens of street racers, promoter arrested in Bangkok

Are there no racing circuit areas in Thailand for this hobby? Organise races, have a police unit the...(Read More)

Chalong Municipality calls in private company over polluted stream

I can promise you this smells very very bad, black tough water. This happend fore 5 days last week r...(Read More)

Chalong Municipality calls in private company over polluted stream

As Tuesday 19th is a holiday, guess all Officials, etc not start to make a move before Wednesday, 2...(Read More)

Power outage to hit main areas near Heroines Monument

When will you bury these scruffy and dangerous cables underground. Half of them are dead anyway and ...(Read More)

Holding the balance: Phuket Immigration clarifies new rules on retirement visas to start March 1

Anyone being 'grandfathered' would necessarily be at least 70 if Thai Imm goes back to 1998...(Read More)

Phuket Opinion: Fear and loathing in paradise

Actually you haven't helped the situation by your incorrect reporting regarding the grandfatheri...(Read More)

The Honey Badger battles in Bangkok

All those blablabla before a fight. I will win.i will win.And now ? He lost !People should celebrate...(Read More)

Phuket Opinion: Fear and loathing in paradise

"It was Thailand who invited them to come" An invitation? When? And if there was an invita...(Read More)

Board vetoes ban on hazardous chemicals

53 countries have banned these chemicals. They have been proven to cause cancer. Why would anyone de...(Read More)

Chalong Underpass makes breakthrough

I seem to recall an article from last September that boasted the surface traffic around the circle w...(Read More)