Nikki Beach Club at Layan on Phuket banned use of elephants this week after posters on Facebook and Twitter complained about photos showing alcohol-drinking revellers riding and mingling with animals at pool parties.
As social media campaigns intensify, more elephants are expected to be thrown out of work on Phuket.
Activists appear to have chosen the most obvious targets even though the young elephants used in tourism on Phuket are probably among the best cared-for elephants in Thailand.
Young elephants have been greeting guests outside the Dino Park restaurant in Karon for about 15 years.
The latest animal employed to greet children there between 8pm and 10pm, a female named Nadia, has not worked for two weeks on the orders of the management of the Marina Phuket Resort, which owns the restaurant.
The elephant's owner, Tip Yeelum, said today that he had no idea what the future of the elephant might be without the regular two-hour-a-day session that provides food and money for the creature's upkeep.
According to the petition at change.org, where more than 38,000 people have added their signatures, Nadia ''leads a life of solitude and loneliness, forced to perform unnatural behaviors for visitor entertainment.''*
However, Phuket livestock officials who visited Nadia yesterday at the resort said today she was in perfect health and appeared to be of normal disposition.
The resort is continuing to provide accommodation space for Nadia but management cancelled the Dino Park work because of the growing social media pressure.
Officers from nearby Karon Police Station have also been to check on the welfare of Nadia.
At least two other resorts on Phuket employ young elephants to entertain guests.
According to official livestock records, 25 of the 216 elephants on Phuket are aged five years or younger.
Nadia's owner Khun Tip and his wife come from Thailand's most renowned elephant province, Surin, and have 26 elephants which they lease to mahouts at trekking camps all over the holiday island.
''The only work that Nadia does is the two hours a day outside Dino Park,'' Khun Tip said. ''We carefully limit her time there to two hours.''
Many animal lovers are now complaining about the treatment of elephants in Thailand after learning of the cruelty involved in the breaking and training of young animals, known as ''Phajaan.''
Khun Tip said Nadia was three years old and had not been broken in.
The change.org petition as of 6.30pm tonight had 38,827 supporters. It reads:
Please release Nadia the baby elephant to a sanctuary immediately and let her live the life she deserves!
''Nadia, the baby elephant, is the Marina Phuket Resort's 'mascot', and leads a life of solitude and loneliness, forced to perform unnatural behaviors for visitor entertainment. When I saw Nadia, my heart sank. She was tied to a pole outside the hotel's restaurant, being made to take photos with passing tourists late at night. Furthermore, their own website boasts their 'elephant rides,' of which is common knowledge to be of detriment to the elephant spine, and when not being used for human 'enjoyment,' she is rumored to be kept in a small enclosure, starved of any other elephant interaction. Being a baby, she would have been taken from her mother so young, and likely to have been broken in by a process of 'Phajaan,' or cruel acts to break her spirit to obey. There is a sanctuary willing to accept Nadia, to allow her the ability to live the life she deserves ... Free, surrounded by other elephants, and in the care of those who will love and cherish her. Please, please, please, urge Marina Phuket Resort Hotel to release Nadia immediately. Their hotel is set among breathtaking scenery, overlooking the beautiful Karon beach, and therefore do not need to have Nadia to attract tourists. Please sign and share today!''
The petition is addressed to the Marina Phuket Resort and the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
*A version of the petition sent to Phuketwan appeared to give an Australian address for the person who started the petition but we now understand it was initiated in the US.