Officers raided two locations last week suspected of housing baby elephants illegally snatched from the wild and conducted DNA tests on the two animals to determine their parentage.
Officers suspect that the two elephants are the offspring of a wild elephant in Kaeng Krachan National Park.
Both elephants had microchips in their ears and the necessary registration and transfer forms, but officers are suspicious because the documents were issued by the Muang Chaiyaphum District Office, which is suspected of issuing fraudulent papers, explained Col Watcharin Phusit from the Regional Natural Resources and Environment Crime Suppression Division.
"The DNA will be sent to Kaeng Krachan to be matched with DNA in herds there," Col Watcharin told the Phuket Gazette.
The search last week comes in the wake of allegations of an elephant trafficking network operating on Phuket and after baby elephants were found to be missing from Kaeng Krachan National Park.
“We launched a nationwide investigation,” said Col Watcharin.
“Then at the Muang Chaiyaphum District Office we found registration papers for two baby elephants out of the 61 documents on file,” explained
“A Phang Nga man purchased both of the elephants for about 500,000 baht from Tabsakae District of Prachuap Khiri Khan and brought them down to Phuket,” Col Watcharin said.
One of the two elephants tracked down last week was at an elephant camp on Big Buddha hill, an area that took heat during a spate of baby elephant raids and subsequent DNA testing last year (story here).
Police suspect the two-year-old elephant housed at the camp is illegally owned. More....