The Sriracha Tiger Zoo has announced its intention to sell a herd of 11 elephants after being hard hit by ebbing tourism in the wake of the Covid-19 third wave.
On its Facebook page, the zoo posted the announcement with the photos of its elephants.
“Let’s share [this post], support us and help us find a new home for our animals. #Sriracha Tiger Zoo# is looking for elephant buyers so we can heal our wounds from the Covid-19.
It’s necessary for us to sell our animals even though we love them so much. Despite our love and sorrow, we have to be apart’’.
On sale is a herd of 11 trained elephants, both young and full-grown.
Their mahouts to be employed by the new buyer is also part of the package. Interested parties could contact it by sending messages through Facebook.
A source at the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation said elephants were protected animals under the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act.
As such, they cannot be sold, except between zoos or for research study. A permit is also required for their breeding, Thai PBS reported.
The source added the law did not allow the sale of elephants freely although zoos legally possessed the animals.
The owner of a zoo seeking to shut down the business must transfer protected animals, including elephants, to other zoos within one year, or the department will have the authority to seize them.Earlier this month, the owner of the Sriracha Tiger Zoo denied reports that it would close its doors for good after 24 years of service.
Remours had earlier spread that the privately run zoo, best known for its collection of Bengal tigers, was to close permanently due to the financial crunch brought on the pandemic.
On its website, the zoo said it closed to visitors from April 30. But Sumeth Panyasakhon, managing director of Sriracha Crocodile Farm Co, said the zoo was merely closing for 14 days as part of efforts to curb the spread of the Covid-19 after the province was put in the maximum and strict control zone.
Elephants have been among animals affected by the tourism slump caused by Covid-19.
In February, Ms Pimporn Hemmarat, an owner of elephants for tourist services in Trang, announced to sell 21 elephants, for 1.5 million baht each, due to the Covid-19 outbreak, TV Channel 7 reported.
The woman was among owners of elephants for tourist services in this southern province who were hit by the pandemic as no tourists visited their places, TV Channel 7 reported.
In Trang, there were more than 60 domestic elephants in tourist provinces in Phuket, Krabi, Phangnga and Songkhla.
The pandemic caused all elephants to be out of jobs, the chairperson of the elephant raisers association in Trang told the media in February.
The Sriracha Tiger Zoo in Chon Buri posts an announcement to sell a herd of 11 trained elephants due to Covid-19. (Photo: Sriracha Tiger Zoo Facebook page)