Just 10 years ago Phuket's elephant population numbered 700 but today it is somewhere between 200 and 300, Vice Governor Somkiet Sangkaosutthirak told a meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday.
At one stage 10 years ago, before elephant numbers were reduced, there was an elephant street blockade, he said.
Present-day complaints from residents about the noise and smell from the elephant camp, just off the main road between Phuket City and Patong, near the go cart track, have led to further inquiries being made.
The Director of Livestock Phuket, Weerasit Puthipairoj, believes greater enforcement is needed to protect the island from becoming a place where more elephants can be smuggled too easily.
He said that the six elephants at the Kathu camp - four females and two males - had been sent from Had Yai on October 2.
A check was always needed to make sure original documents could be provided, not copies, he said.
Khun Weerasit would like to see a cap on elephant numbers on Phuket.
Rides and treks on the creatures continue to be popular despite growing activist campaigns overseas against the cruelty of the creatures' breaking in and training.