Elephants at temple locations in Thailand


9 temple locations has kept elephants in Thailand
There is presently 5 (2,2) living elephants in temple locations in Thailand (in this database)

Region: Thailand is in this database included in asiaOther regions
Wild elephants:

Thailand has about 1600 (min. NA, max. 2000) wild elephants. Source:Sompoad Srikosamatara, (2010)

Location holdings:

9 temple locations has kept 14 elephants in Thailand

(Database tables with collection of elephants further down on the page)

Elephants in temple locations5 (2,2) living9 (3,2) dead
Sex ratio and
Management:
 Male  2 / 5 
 40%
 Female  2 / 5 
 40%
 Free contact  5 / 5 
 100%
 Protected contact  0 / 5  0%
 No contact  0 / 5  0%
 Unknown contact  0 / 5  0%
 wild  0 / 5  0%


Phu is a Karen word for a male elephant.

"Chang Pang" is a female elephant without tusks. There are females with a bit of tusks called "Khanai".

"Chang Plai" is a male elephant with tusks.

Chang Mae is the Thai word for mother and is added to the name after her first child is born.

Wild elephants


1996: 1 200-1 500 (Santiapillai, IUCN1996).
2002: 1000 elephants Lohanan (2002)
2010: 1600 Sompoad Srikosamatara, 2010

53 elephants were known to have been killed in Thailand in the wild from 1992 to 1997, 24 for their tusks.

captive population


In 1884, the north of Thailand alone had more than 20,000 captive elephants.

1965: the Department of Livestock Development reported that there were only 11,192 captive elephants.

1959-1969: 1138 elephants were legally exported (Storer 1981)

1979: Two female elephants (2 and ~ years old) were exported by the Dusit Zoo, Bangkok, to the Irish capitals Royal Zoological Society, in trade for 2 giraffes on 3 July, 1979. (Storer 1981)

1985: Later, in 1985, the number decreased to only 3,381.

1989: teak logging operations became banned, and some 2 000 elephants and owners became unemployed, in about the same time when tourism reached very high numbers, and those elephants became transferred into tourism activities in more than 100 camps and "elephant villages" (Baan Chaang).

1997: 2,180 left (Puttipong Khawnual 2005)

2012: 26 elephants without registration papers were confiscated and impounded at the Thai Elephant Conservation Center (TECC). At the March 13th National Elephant Day symposium in Bangkok, the DNP Chief estimated that 10% of the captive elephants in Thailand are not registered.

2014: a total of 4,435 elephants had the owner record. For the past 6 years, the birth rate (62.67±10.69) was higher than the dead rate (23.83±8.01) (p<0.0001). (Weerasak Pintawongs)

A typical elephant is valued at 400,000 baht ($1,200) and a baby (under 5 years) may cost upto 1 million baht (2010)

Export of elephants


1965: 76, 1966: 74, 1967: 77, 1968: 49, 1969: 52, 1970: 88, 1971: 84, 1972: 113, 1973: 43, 1974: 22, 1975: 12, 1976: 4 (Source: Department of Livestock Development, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, (Anon, 1994d) and earlier years of the same annual publication. via Lair, Richard, FAO: http://www.fao.org/3/ac774e/ac774e0h.htm)

According to CITES trade database, exports 1980-2020: 1980: 1 (USA), 1981: 3 (USA+Soviet Union), 1982: 2 (Japan), 1986: 2 (India), 1987: 2 (Germany+Japan), 1988: 4 (Japan), 1989: 3 (Japan), 1990: 2 (Hong Kong), 1991: 2 (Hong Kong), 1993: 2 (Japan), 1994: 3 (Japan+USA), 1995: 9 (China+Israel+Japan+Myanmar+USA), 1996: 22 (China+Japan+Myanmar), 1997: 17 (India+Israel+Japan+Myanmar), 1998: 10 (China+Japan), 1999: 10 (Canada+China+Japan+S. Korea), 2000: 17 (China+Japan+Sri Lanka), 2001: 14 (Denmark+Sri Lanka+S. Korea; 9 elephants to Korea origin from Laos) 2002: 19 (Japan+Philippines), 2003: 15 (Japan+Myanmar), 2004: 26 (China+Japan+Myanmar+Sweden), 2005: 12 (China+Japan), 2006: 20 (Australia+China+Germany+Japan), 2008: 3 (S. Korea, origin from Laos), 2009: 4 (Canada+Japan), 2012: 3 (S. Korea), 2013: 3 (S. Korea), 2015: 1 (Japan, origin from Laos)
(Source: CITES trade database)


Recommended Citation

Koehl, Dan, Facts about elephants in Thailand. Elephant Encyclopedia, (2021) available online retrieved at https://www.elephant.se/country.php?name=Thailand.
(archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources, among others


Internal relevant links

  • The elephant database startpage. Statistics
  • News about elephants in Thailand (From the sister site Elephant News)

  • NameElephant collectionTypePlaceDistrictProvinceStateRegion
    Chitrlada Palace Royal Elephant Stable (Chang Ton Museum Dusit)
    Kept totally 8 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0)0 births7 relocated1 deathstempleBangkok
    Dusit Palace
    Kept totally 5 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0)0 births1 relocated4 deathstempleBangkok
    Klai Kangwon Palace
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated1 deathstempleHua HinPrachuap Khiri Khan
    Sanctuary of Truth (Pattaya)
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated1 deathstemplePattayaChon Buri
    Wat Baan Ta Laad
    Kept totally 4 elephants
    , 4 present (2,2)0 births0 relocated0 deathstempleSi Narong
    (map)
    Chumphon Buri DistrictSurin ProvinceSurin
    Wat Chang Rob
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 1 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated0 deathstempleKamphaeng PhetKamphaeng Phet
    Wat Pa Ar Jiang
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated1 deathstempleTatumSurin
    Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua Yanasampanno (Kanchanaburi Tiger Temple)
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0)0 births1 relocated0 deathstempleSai Yok DistrictKanchanaburi Province
    Wat Phut Udom
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated1 deathstempleAmphoe Lam Luk Ka, Pathum Thani



    This document was updated: 2020-10-27 06:15:38


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