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According to police, Australian national Chan Young Yun, 62, saw the four-year-old elephant chained to a coconut tree near Mai Khao Plaza and approached the animal in order to take a photo, according to a report today by The Phuket News.
“Suddenly the elephant used its trunk to hit Chan many times which is what caused his injuries. He was taken to hospital,” Pol. Col. Prawit Sutthirueangarun said.
“We found out from his relative that Chan sustained injuries to both sides of his rib cage and his back. He also has blood in his right lung, so he is being closely monitored by doctors at Bangkok Hospital Phuket,” he added.
Pol. Col. Prawit said that the elephant, named Namwhan, was previously seized from the North of Phuket on Aug. 3 following a tip-off from undercover police. The young elephant was being used by touts to charge tourists money to have their photo taken with the iconic animal.
He believed that Namwhan’s mahout had left him chained to the tree as a tourist attraction. In fact, that the incident should never have happened in the first place as Namwhan was supposed to be moved from the island three months ago by the Livestock Office.
The Provincial Livestock Office was not available for comments.
However, The Phuket News has learned that the organization transported Namwhan to Phang Nga after the incident. It’s unclear which elephant sanctuary he will end up in.
Hopefully, the little guy won’t be forced to work in tourism ever again!