BANGKOK, 26 April 2013 Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasob Suraswadi has been instructed by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to visit Kaeng Krachan National Park in Phetchaburi Province, following reported sightings of a white elephant in the area.
The Deputy Prime Minister, in his capacity as Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, revealed that his visit would be to verify the news, and that it could not be confirmed for the moment whether the elephant calf in the news was a white elephant until all the traits have been confirmed by experts.
He also rebuked the Forestry official who disclosed the news and claimed the calf was a white elephant before verification, saying that the declaration should only be made by the Director General of the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, Manopat Huamuangkaew.
Mr. Plodprasob has instructed Mr. Manopat to monitor the movement of the elephant in question and try to prevent it from roaming into neighboring Myanmar. He also suggested the Director General to firstly observe the elephant once found, and to avoid capturing it before he is absolutely confident that the elephant belongs to the rare breed.
Mr. Plodprasop indicated that during his visit to the Kaeng Krachan National Park, he would also follow up the park’s progress to resolve the problem of wild elephants evading local farms, citing a possibility of installing electric fences to stop elephants from entering residential quarters.