By Prasit Tarnsirisin
PHUKET: Two of six elephants that were on Phuket without the proper paperwork have already been trucked off the island and the other four are likely to follow before first light on Friday.
The Director of Livestock Phuket, Weerasit Puthipairoj, told Phuketwan tonight that he had sanctioned the moving of the elephants off Phuket to Krabi by the owner.
''The paperwork for the elephants being transferred to Phuket was not complete and people who wish to transfer elephants to the island must confirm the transfer with Phuket authorities first,'' Khun Weerasit said.
A visit by leading Phuket authorities to the elephant camp used by the six creatures in central Kathu is scheduled for tomorrow.
Nearby residents close to the camp complained about the smell and the noise created by the elephants.
The smell and signs of pollution might still be there tomorrow - but the noise and the elephants will not.
A number of media were expected to accompany the authorities to inspect the camp, and the elephants.
It's not clear at this stage whether an application to truck the elephants back to Phuket will be completed or whether the creatures will be destined to go somewhere else.
Authorities on Phuket believe that there could be up to 300 elephants on the island, scores more than the 216 registered creatures.
Even that number may be too many for Phuket, some say, with a reaction growing overseas to the cruelty involved in breaking in elephants so they are docile when trekking with tourists.
Raids on other elephant camps are expected to follow around Phuket.