Young 'wild' elephant seized from camp

Young 'wild' elephant seized from camp

Park officials feed the young elephant as they impound it, at Wang Chan elephant camp in Muang district of Kanchanaburi on Thursday. Officials suspect the animal was caught in the wild and sold to the camp. (Photo: Piyarat Chongcharoen)
Park officials feed the young elephant as they impound it, at Wang Chan elephant camp in Muang district of Kanchanaburi on Thursday. Officials suspect the animal was caught in the wild and sold to the camp. (Photo: Piyarat Chongcharoen)

KANCHANABURI: Officials of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation have impounded a four-year-old elephant at an elephant camp, on suspicion it was caught in the wild.

Wildlife officials, accompanied by local police went to the Wang Chan elephant camp of Riviere Kwai Elephants Co in tambon Wang Dong of Muang district on Thursday.

They were met by the owner's son, Kenji Alison. 

Mongkol Chaipakdee, a chief ranger, said Mr Kenji had sought permission to transfer the elephant to Kanchanaburi's Muang district on Oct 27 last year.

The young elephant had been documented as the offspring of a domesticated elephant belonging to Nimor Satayaruangrong, a Karen man in Mae Ramat district of Tak.

DNA tests on samples taken in December showed the two animals were not related. 

Mr Nimor had said he sold the elephant to Mr Kenji for 800,000 baht.

However, Mr Mongkol said the elephant impounded at Wang Chan camp was not the elephant whose birth was earlier registered in Tak.

Mr Kenji was charged with unauthorised possession of a protected wild animal and making a false report about the elephant.

The department has also demanded 1.6 million baht from Mr Alison in compensation for wildlife damage.

He has denied the charges.

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