Pattaya-area elephants are going hungry and falling ill as the coronavirus pandemic deprives owners and mahouts of money to feed them.
Veterinarian Phadet Siridamrong, owner of Nernplubwan Animal Hospital, responded to the Krating Lai Elephant Garden Feb. 12 after 50-year-old Khunpan became unable to stand. He said the elephant has not been getting enough to eat and has become too weak.
He treated the elephant with 50 bottles of intravenous fluids and medicine for skin sores from lying in the same position too long.
Pa Petchkla, the brother of the elephant’s owner, said the camp has five elephants under its care, but no income from tourists. The 43-year-old said his older brother has resorted to driving a songthaew to earn a living, but the money is not enough to feed the animals their usual 1,000-2,000 baht of food a day.
Phadet said mahouts and camp staff also have left to find other jobs, meaning many elephants are not getting their required walking and exercising. The animals are becoming malnourished, weak and sick.
Pa said he has contacted the Thai Elephant Alliance Association for help.
The vet is removing the sick pachyderm from the camp and sending it to a specialized elephant hospital in Surin with help from the elephant alliance.