Swiss 'beach bully' to lose elephant foundation
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Swiss 'beach bully' to lose elephant foundation

Urs Fehr visits Thalang police station in Phuket on Thursday to pay fines in relation to a road rage incident in December 2023. (Photo supplied)
Urs Fehr visits Thalang police station in Phuket on Thursday to pay fines in relation to a road rage incident in December 2023. (Photo supplied)

PHUKET: Phuket authorities will revoke the elephant foundation licence of the Swiss man who allegedly kicked a Thai woman doctor on a beach, after cancelling his gun licences, according to the Phuket governor.

Governor Sophon Suwannarat said on Saturday that investigators suspected that Urs Fehr's Green Elephant Wildlife foundation was used for illegal purposes and its licence would be revoked.

"The Phuket provincial hall through public prosecutors will ask a court to dissolve the elephant foundation," Mr Sophon said.

The governor said that the foundation used the same logo as that of the Mr Fehr's Green Elephant Sanctuary Park, and Phuket authorities had ordered the people concerned to clarify the operations of the elephant sanctuary and the elephant foundation.

Suthee Siri-anant, assistant to the Phuket assistant governor, said the foundation was originally called Green Elephant and was later renamed Green Elephant Wildlife. The foundation also shared the same address as the elephant park.

Mr Suthee said that the foundation was legally registered in December 2021 and its establishment was aimed at helping and treating injured elephants.

Governor Sophon said the Green Elephant Sanctuary Park holds 14 elephants – 13 rented and the other bought from the northern province of Phrae.

According to its website, the park covers an area of 40,000 square metres and is situated on Soi Cherngtalay 1 Road near Surin beach in Thalang district.

Authorities have already revoked the licences for a pistol and a rifle. The pistol was registered in Mr Fehr's name and the rifle was registered as the property of the elephant foundation.

The Thalang district chief revoked the firearms licences because he considered that their possession could pose danger to the public.

Apart from the registration of the Swiss man's foundation and firearms, the Department of Special Investigation would check his bank accounts, the Phuket governor said.

Mr Fehr aka David, 45, was temporarily released after being charged with physically and mentally assaulting Dr Thandao Chandam, 26. He allegedly kicked the doctor in the back while she and a friend were watching the full moon near his rented villa beside Yamu beach in Thalang district on Feb 24.

Mr Fehr apologised for the incident and said he only slipped while approaching the doctor. He said he did not kick her and wrongly belileved the doctor and her friend were trespassing on his property.

Officials have confirmed that the beach steps where the doctor and her friend sat were illegally built on the public beach.

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