Poachers killed elephant which appeared in Oliver Stone’s epic movie Alexander in Thailand..
The 50-year-old elephant was poisoned by poachers who then sawed-off its tusks at the Ayutthaya Elephant Palace.
As well as appearing in the movie starring Colin Farrell and Angelina Jolie the elephant named Klao was found dead yesterday at the nature reserve.
The elephant was attacked by poachers
The Bangkok Post reported that Thai police arrested one man who is believed to be a drug addict.
- They found poisoned bananas at the scene which were used to kill the beast before the one metre long tusks were removed.
- Police believe that the poaching gang were amateurs as they failed to remove all of the tusk.
- The facility’s manager Laithongrian Meephan admitted that the animal was probably poisoned.
- Although the country is also a major transport hub and destination for the illegal trade.
Elephants are revered in Thai culture
The wildlife sanctuary is popular with tourists and guests even have the opportunity to hire an elephant to explore the countryside.
Travellers pay £700 to stay at the sanctuary where the get the opportunity to care for an elephant and ride it into a river. Mr Meepan is the world’s largest owner of elephants and has introduced a highly successful breeding programme at this centre.
Wildlife trade monitoring group TRAFFIC said: ‘Thailand has the unenviable reputation as home to one of the world’s largest unregulated ivory markets.’
Elephants are the de facto national animal and were once featured on the Thai flag.
TRAFFIC estimates that Thailand has a population of 2,500 to 3,200 Asian elephants in the wild. Cites government statistics that another 4,169 were held in captivity in 2012.
Their numbers have decreased over recent decades and expanding human settlements have shrunk their natural habitat.
TRAFFIC said one reason that Thailand is a major smuggling point for ivory poached from African elephants is that a 75-year-old law permits.
The legal trade of ivory from domesticated Asian elephants inside Thailand, though the origin of retail ivory is seldom checked.
‘Monitoring of Bangkok’s domestic ivory market by TRAFFIC reveals a near trebling of the number of ivory items for sale’