Authorities on Sunday arrested two men who were seen taking a female elephant across the Myanmar-Thai border in Huay Yang District in Prachuap Khiri Khan province.
The two arrested men were identified as Mr. Phongsak Huakaew, a 28-year-old Thai national, and Mr. Muytuya, a 28-year-old Myanmar man.
Phongsak was found to be the owner of the truck used by the men. He is known to have transported timber and elephants in the past and has a criminal record.
Both have been charged by police on account of the illegal crossing of a national border with a protected or reserved wild animal and illegal possession of a protected or reserved wild animal. Mr. Muytuya has also been charged for illegal entry into the Kingdom of Thailand.
A statement issued by the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) read: “The police and DNP reached out to WFFT on the 19th of December to provide urgent care and a safe place for this unfortunate victim of the illegal wildlife trade.”
“With the right facilities, caretakers and veterinary team we were able to help this urgent case at a very short notice.
“Our team of keepers and veterinarians are now caring for the highly stressed elephant. The good news is that she seems to have adjusted quickly, after a good night of sleep. She is eating well and seems more relaxed than she was at her arrival last night,” the statement read.
“Because this poor animal has been confiscated by authorities, she is property of the state and we are unsure how long she will be with us. Nevertheless, we are happy to provide her with the best care possible for as long as needed.”
“We applaud both the police and DNP for the swift action taken. We are happy to work in conjunction with the authorities in Thailand to protect our precious wildlife.”