Sick elephant recovers, returned to wild

Sick elephant recovers, returned to wild

Healthy again, Phang Littiruachai is taken back to the forest in Hua Hin on Wednesday. (Photo by Chaiwat Satyaem)
Healthy again, Phang Littiruachai is taken back to the forest in Hua Hin on Wednesday. (Photo by Chaiwat Satyaem)

PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN — A female wild elephant found sick in Hua Hin forest two months ago was released back into its natural habitat on Wednesday after treatment restored it to full health.

A ceremony was held at a reservoir in the Littiruachai special warfare training camp in Hua Hin district to release Phang Littiruachai, who is aged about seven or eight, into Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex after 46 days of treatment.  

Phang Littiruachai goes back to the forest (Photo by Chaiwat Satyaem)

Phang Littiruachai was the first elephant to undergo treatment in the forest by veterinarians from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.  

The elephant was found lying near the reservoir by border patrol police on June 21 and was named after the camp — Littiruachai.

Veterinarians from the department and Kasetsart University's Hua Hin veterinary teaching hospital found Phang Littiruachai had consumed some kind of chemical substance which caused mouth ulcers and severe diarrhea. 

The medical team supervised the pachyderm closely around the clock until it became well and could eat normally. 

Phang Littiruachai was chaperoned across a creek to the jungle by mahouts on two older elephants from Hua Hin elephant village before being unroped and released, amid cheering from park officials and local and foreign animal rights activists. The ceremony was presided over by department director-general Nipon Chotiban.

A radio transmitter was attached to the jumbo’s neck so that park officials could check the walking routes of wild elephant herds in the area. The GPS radio-collar has a 10-km transmission radius and seven-year life. 

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