‘Animal torture facility’: Dying elephants found at Bangkok hell zoo

Wounds cover the body of one of four chained elephants photographed Tuesday at the Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm and Zoo. Photo: Chayanan Assawadhammanond / Facebook
Wounds cover the body of one of four chained elephants photographed Tuesday at the Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm and Zoo. Photo: Chayanan Assawadhammanond / Facebook

A crocodile farm and zoo in southeast metro Bangkok was ordered to take action after several of its elephants were found severely starved and covered in wounds.

Wildlife and livestock officials last night discovered four captive elephants at the Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm and Zoo, which has faced accusations of cruelty and neglect for decades, in very deteriorated conditions.

Chains cut into the flesh of the four malnourished elephants, which had wounds all over their bodies. 

Photo: Chayanan Assawadhammanond / Facebook
Photo: Chayanan Assawadhammanond / Facebook

Although officials declared the zoo in violation of the Cruelty Prevention and Animal Welfare Act, they opted not to prosecute.

Calls to the zoo Friday morning went unanswered.

The investigation came after concerned citizens called for the elephants to be freed.

Photos from the scene showed four chained elephants in an apparent state of starvation and poor health.

“It’s time to release these four elephants from the Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm,” Chayanan Assawadhammanond wrote on social media. “They are in poor condition, with wounds all over their body, looking half their weight, and starving.”

Visitors tried to donate food to the animals but were prohibited by the elephants’ mahouts from entering.

Photo: Chayanan Assawadhammanond / Facebook

Chayanan’s post also called for officials to take action.

“This place is no longer suitable for raising animals,” Chayanan said. “Please investigate. What have the elephants been eating? Why are they so thin and sickly for so many years? This is an animal torture facility.”

The Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm’s long, documented history of animal abuse hasn’t deterred tourists, mostly from China, from pouring in to see shabby exhibits and exploitative animal shows.

Zoo management has consistently shrugged off complaints and it remains open to this day.

As of Friday, officials said they were monitoring the zoo’s care of the animals. The elephant keepers were told to feed the animals enough fresh grass to regain their weight and to loosen their chains to reduce stress and injury.

Once billed as Thailand’s first and largest crocodile farm, the zoo filed for bankruptcy in January 2021 after 71 years of operation.

Related
Bangkok’s hell-for-animals zoo files bankruptcy, future uncertain
Zoo ordered to stop sending chimp on bike to spray disinfectant
Thai zoo criticized after photos of shockingly thin animals go viral (PHOTOS)

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