Tour elephants attack tourist in Thailand

Authorities have ordered a review of the tour company and elephants involved in an incident in which tourists to Phang Nga province were attacked by elephants.

Phang Nga Livestock Official Saroj Jittakan visited Island Safari elephant tours on orders from provincial governor Siripat Pattakul, who called for inspections of all 30 of Phang Ngas elephant tour operators. The call came after two tourists were attacked by an elephant on February 19 and another elephant went on a rampage later in the day.

Saroj indicated that the growth of tourism in Phang Nga has led to about 270 elephants being employed across 30 tour companies. It is required that only experienced elephants with no history of violence are used and that any new additions are paired with elders.

The tours have been warned that keeping male and female elephants together is a danger as it causes them to go into heat more readily. Mahouts have been told to inspect their animals closely before any tours, especially during the summer months.