Police from the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division have confirmed that 27 out of 37 elephants seized from elephant camps in Phuket for inspection have the same identity as that stated in their official papers.
Police seized the 37 elephants from four camps for inspection on February 27. Of the 27 “confirmed” elephants, nine belong to At Hill Adventure Tours 2009 camp and other 18 are owned by Siam Safari Nature Tours camp.
Police will later review the ID papers and identity of eight tuskers at ATV Seaview on Tour camp because it did not provide enough documents. Meanwhile, Laguna Excursions camp has asked police to postpone the inspection of its two elephants till late this month.
Police said they were checking if a calf owned by ATV Seaview on Tour was a wild elephant as its mother was believed to be wild beast, while a court has ordered Laguna Excursions to pay a Bt2,500 fine for possessing a calf wrongly – as an elephant believed to be its mother was taken wrongly.
Half a dozen elephants have been killed in recent months, prompting claims that poachers are killing parents to they can catch and sell baby elephants to tourist facilities.