The now rare sight of a pregnant elephant being led through the streets prompted Huay Yai residents to call the media to report the ongoing event.
Locals called the media after spotting two young mahouts leading the elephant under the hot sun along Sak Ngaew Road near Route 331 April 22. Two young men were selling sugar cane and fruit to feed to the animal in order to earn money.
Reporters questioned the two and they said that they are from Buriram, and that they brought the elephant to the Pattaya area several years ago.
Even 10 years ago, elephants were a common sight on the streets of Pattaya, but an earnest government crackdown rid the city of the pachyderms several years ago.
Resident Saman Rathanawong called the media because she doesn’t think it’s fair for the elephant to be fed this way.
The youths said they take the elephant back to a forested area near the Ambassador City Hotel in Jomtien Beach at night, tied to a chain.
They claim they’d never been arrested.
Resident Saman Rathanawong, 56, she said that she would often see the two youths and the elephant wandering around looking for people to buy their fruit and feed the elephant.
“I personally feel sorry for the elephant, not the so-called owners, and I would buy the fruit to feed it,” she said. “The elephant is out in the sun all day and gets wet when it rains. It would be great if local authorities could look into this matter and hopefully help the elephant find a proper home.”
Interestingly, while Saman called the media, she never alerted authorities.