Phuket elephant camp accused of refusing to return stolen elephant

Photo: The Phuket News

An elephant camp in Phuket stands accused of refusing to return a female elephant that the Phuket Provincial Livestock Office (PPLO) confirmed on Friday belongs to another person.

Livestock officers checked the microchip on an elephant at the Amazing Bukit Elephant Camp on Chao Fa 69 Road in Chalong and confirmed that the animal is registered as “Yo” from Surin Province, and not called “Nampetch” as claimed by the elephant camp.

The officers confirmed that the microchip matches the registration documents for “Yo,”
who was stolen while working in Krabi province in 2003.

Surajit Witchuwan of the PPLO said, “We checked the microchip in the elephant and found it is for the elephant called “Yo.”

“In addition, a description of marks on Yo’s legs are the same as on this elephant at the Amazing Bukit Elephant Camp.

“Our part of the job is now done, it is now down to the police to resolve this matter,” he said.

However, the owner of the elephant camp has refused to return the elephant to its rightful owner, Chorp Reangngern, 58, whose relatives have now taken the matter to the Ombudsman’s office at Phuket Provincial Hall.

Their complaint stated that “Nampetch” was actually “Yo,” who was stolen 14 years ago.

In filing that complaint, Yo’s mahout, Somsak Reangngern, 35, who is Chorp’s younger brother, said, “Yo was registered in Surin province in July 2001, shortly after that I took Yo to work in Phuket and Phang Nga. In 2003, Yo and myself were working in Krabi and Yo was pregnant. One day after finishing work I tied the elephant in the forest near the elephant camp, when I returned in the morning Yo was gone. I have been searching for Yo ever since,” he said.

Apparently, the owner of the Amazing Bukit Elephant Camp has refused to return the elephant – despite the fact that it was proven that the camp has no legal claim to the elephant.

Allegedly, the owner of the Amazing Bukit Elephant Camp said that he bought Nampetch for THB1.4 million from her previous owner and doesn’t want to give her back.


Story: The Phuket News

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