Following news that a Maha Sarakham temple butchered the carcasses of three elephants and sold the meat, skulls and tusks for Bt2 million, elephant conservationists yesterday called on the government to rescue the remaining beasts and do something before tourism was affected.
The case has disturbed elephant conservationists worldwide, raised questions over the temple’s treatment of its animals and highlighted Thailand’s severe cruelty against elephants, said Thai conservationist and one of Time Magazine’s Asia’s Heroes 2005, Sangduen Chailert.
The government should assist the remaining seven elephants there, she said. The Elephant Nature Foundation president said the elephants seemed to be suffering from severe malnutrition and could die if they did not receive treatment.
Sangduen said the government should use this incident as the starting point for passing an elephant protection law. The beasts are a symbol of Thailand and could become extinct if not protected, she said.