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Popeye on Phuket today. Young elephants fetch 900,000 baht or more

Phuket Baby Elephants Taken as DNA Police Return to Phuket

Monday, February 27, 2012
PHUKET: Police seized two young elephants on Phuket today and were likely to investigate claims that an entire elephant camp is operating on national park land on Phuket.

The raids and elephant seizures today came at the Sheraton Elephant Camp at Laguna Phuket - the camp retains the Sheraton name although the resort of that name is now the newly-opened Angsana Phuket - and at an ATV camp on Big Buddha Hill.

Other seizures were expected. The raids could extend from the initial investigation by the Bangkok-based Federal Bureau of Investigation to include the elephant camp allegedly operating on national park land.

The special police took DNA samples from several elephants in a coordinated raid on four sites on Phuket on February 10 and returned today to act on the results of those DNA findings.

The suspicion is that baby elephants have been stolen from their mothers in other parts of Thailand and rented or sold on to people on Phuket.

The elephants seized on Phuket this morning were Joey, removed by truck from the Laguna Phuket camp, and Popeye, taken from the ATV camp at Big Buddha Hill in Chalong, southern Phuket.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Good on the Bangkok-based Federal Bureau of Investigation for doing their job, well done indeed. Now if theft was involved, I hope the wrongdoers are brought to book, regardless of who they are. I hope the baby elephants can be reunited with their mothers, otherwise they will remain little orphans? Glad that the elephants now have a protecting force behind them. Elephants never forget.

Posted by Dun on February 27, 2012 10:33


Yes and so what happens to the elephants? Reunited with their mothers! ha

Posted by Vfaye on February 27, 2012 10:49


Popeye the Elephant packed his trunk and said goodbye to the circus, good job

Posted by Gaz B on February 27, 2012 18:56


Just passed the elephant camp on Big Buddha Hill and there is a major operation in progress. I'd say it's easily 70 to 100 officials, mostly police but I assume also park rangers. Not sure about some of the uniforms.

Whatever they were looking for, looks like they've found enough to justify such large scale operation.

It's encouraging to see that the threats and intimidation Wildlife Friends Foundation of Thailand founder Edwin Wiek and his staff have had to endure following their exposure of illegal trading of elephants and other wildlife by park officials has not been in vain.

Posted by Steve C. on February 27, 2012 19:14


Whilst I agree that animals (in this case young elephants) should not be misused or maltreated, it seems people care more about animals than people. I bet these young elephants get more attention than the Rohinga Boat People who will simply vanish without much further comment. This is no criticism of Phuket Wan, simply a statement of fact. Your site is full of good content. It is more a criticism of human nature as I have observed on a worldwide scale on my travels.

Posted by Logic on February 28, 2012 00:08


He was purchased by the 5 star resort because there was complaints he was treated badly ... so I would think where ever this poor baby goes will be worst then living at a 5 star resort under the eye of tourists!

Posted by Vfaye on February 28, 2012 00:51

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