Elephants at zoo locations in Thailand

19 zoo locations has kept elephants in Thailand
There is presently 102 (32,58) living elephants in zoo 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:

19 zoo locations has kept 111 elephants in Thailand

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

Elephants in zoo locations102 (32,58) living9 (1,7) dead
Sex ratio and
Management:
 Male  32 / 102 
 31%
 Female  58 / 102 
 57%
 Free contact  93 / 102 
 91%
 Protected contact  0 / 102  0%
 No contact  1 / 102 
 1%
 Unknown contact  4 / 102 
 4%
 wild  0 / 102  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)

From Associations among tourist camp management, high and low tourist seasons, and welfare factors in female Asian elephants in Thailand
Using a generalized estimating equation (GEE) method, we found differences in concentrations of metabolic factors, lipid profiles and FGM concentrations across camps with different management styles, and between High and Low tourist seasons. Results suggest nutrition, work activities and tourist numbers may affect metabolic, lipid panel and FGM concentrations. We conclude that elephant well-being can be promoted by limiting the amount of high calorie treats given by tourists, ensuring animals receive appropriate amounts of exercise to reduce fat and increase muscle mass, and reducing stress by moderating the numbers of tourists interacting with individual elephants, especially during the High season.

This is the first study to examine metabolic and lipid parameters in Asian elephants under human care in Thailand across camps in relation to walking distance and working time, and provisioning of supplementary diet items, like bananas and sugar cane, by tourists during the High and Low tourist seasons. Significant differences across camps in FGM concentrations and metabolic status highlight the effect of tourist activities, and how supplemental feeding and lack of exercise may have negative consequences for health. There also was a significant tourist season effect on health status, with levels of several metabolic markers being higher during the High season, potentially reflecting higher numbers of tourists and associated activities.
Chatchote Thitaram (2019); Associations among tourist camp management, high and low tourist seasons, and welfare factors in female Asian elephants in Thailand


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
    Bangkok Safari World
    Kept totally 8 elephants
    , 7 present (1,0) 0 births0 relocated1 deathszooBangkok
    Chiang Mai Night Safari
    Kept totally 11 elephants
    , 5 present (0,5) 1 births4 relocated2 deathszooChiang Mai
    (map)
    Hang Dong DistrictChiang Mai ProvinceNorthern Thailand
    Chiang Mai Zoo
    Kept totally 7 elephants
    , 2 present (1,1) 2 births1 relocated4 deathszooChiang Mai
    (map)
    Dusit Zoo (Khao Din)
    Kept totally 15 elephants
    , 4 present (1,2) 1 births11 relocated0 deathszooDusit, Bangkok
    Hua Hin Zoo and animal park
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 0 births1 relocated0 deathszooHua Hin
    Khao Kheow Open Zoo
    Kept totally 10 elephants
    , 8 present (2,6) 3 births1 relocated1 deathszooSriracha, Chonburi
    (map)
    Koh Kong Safari World (Koh Kong International Resort)
    Kept totally 0 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 0 births0 relocated0 deathszooSrok Mondoul SeymaKoh Kong province
    Koh Samui Namuang safaripark
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 0 births1 relocated0 deathszooKoh Samui
    Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo (Korat Zoo)
    Kept totally 5 elephants
    , 4 present (2,2) 2 births1 relocated0 deathszooNakhon Ratchasima
    (map)
    Mueang Nakhon Ratchasima District
    Nong Nooch Tropical Gardens
    Kept totally 43 elephants
    , 39 present (11,23) 19 births4 relocated0 deathszooPattaya
    (map)
    Chonburi Province
    Phuket Zoo
    Kept totally 9 elephants
    , 5 present (2,3) 1 births3 relocated1 deathszooMuang, Phuket
    Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo
    Kept totally 24 elephants
    , 24 present (10,14) 1 births0 relocated0 deathszooSamphranNakhon Pathom Province
    Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm and Zoo
    Kept totally 2 elephants
    , 1 present (1,0) 0 births1 relocated0 deathszooSamut Prakan
    (map)
    Mueang Samut Prakan District
    Sheraton Krabi Beach Resort Hotel
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 0 births1 relocated0 deathszooKrabi
    Siam Safari Krabi
    Kept totally 0 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 0 births0 relocated0 deathszooKrabiKrabi Province
    Songkhla Zoo
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 1 present (0,1) 0 births0 relocated0 deathszooMuang Songkhla
    Sriracha Tiger Zoo
    Kept totally 0 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 0 births0 relocated0 deathszooChonburi
    (map)
    Si Racha DistrictChonburi Province
    The Million Years Stone Park & Pattaya Crocodile Farm
    Kept totally 2 elephants
    , 2 present (1,1) 1 births0 relocated0 deathszooChon Buri
    (map)
    Bang Lamung DistrictChonburi Province
    Ubon Jungle Park
    Kept totally 0 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 0 births0 relocated0 deathszooUbonratchathani



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



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