SURIN, 21 July 2012 – Mr. Suwit Rattanamani, Director-General of the Royal Forest Department, Mr. Niran Kalayanamit, Governor of Surin, and Mr. Sanchai Julamont, director of the Zoological Park Organization, yesterday met with civil servants, mahouts, and other agencies and organizations involved with the care of elephants in Surin. The meeting’s objective was to determine methods to solve the problems of mahouts’ difficulties and elephants roaming city streets for money.
At present there are 150 elephants at Surin’s elephant center which gives each mahout a monthly salary of 8,000 THB. Nationwide, there are 316 elephants working at various elephant centers, 136 elephants roaming on streets with mahouts, and 76 elephants being raised at mahouts’ houses.
The Provincial Administration Organization of Surin has been asking a budget of 126 million THB to address elephant problems in a concrete manner. The proposal will be presented to the Cabinet at a mobile meeting to be held on July 29 and 30 in Surin. On July 29, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will travel to the elephant center of Surin to observe the care of pachyderms and listen to related problems as well as solution guidelines.