After 14 years, two brothers who previously owned a female elephant named “Phang Yo” claim to have evidence of alleged elephant identity forgery and hope they can finally retrieve the animal from a Phuket-based elephant camp.
Phang Yo went missing in January 2003 when mahout Somsak Riang-ngern brought it to work at a Krabi-based elephant camp and tied it under a tree in a wooded area near the camp at night. The animal was gone in the morning.
Somsak and his elder brother Wan Riang-ngern earlier this year received a picture of an elephant with another name that was at the Phuket camp, which they recognized as Phang Yo, leading to their attempts to retrieve the animal. The elephant is believed to be about 50 years old.
The two brothers asked Tak officials for help to uncover evidence in Mae Ramad district suggesting the elephant, bearing the microchip number “121675455 A” and with an identity card describing scars on both hind legs, was indeed Phang Yo.
Wan also said the animal recognised him and his brother when they went to see it.
The brothers said the Phuket camp owner had turned down their previous request for the elephant to be returned, adding that unless the owner acquiesced in the face of the new evidence, they would file a police complaint for theft, receiving stolen assets and document forgery.
Thai-language media has previously reported that the Phuket camp owner had resisted returning the animal because it had been bought for Bt1.4 million.