Seized wildlife trapped in legal limbo
Animals captured in raids on suspected traffickers and private animal parks are considered evidence in trials that may take years to conclude and state agencies have few options but to keep them caged in overburdened facilities until the cases are resolved
The death of an elephant taken in a raid on a private elephant park in Kanchanaburi province in April last year highlights the strain on state agencies charged with taking custody of seized wildlife. The female elephant and 18 others were taken after park owners failed to provide proper identification documents and turned over to the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre in Lampang province to await legal proceedings.
BEAR FACTS: An Asian black bear inside an open enclosure at the Bang Lamung breeding centre in Chon Buri province is more fortunate than many seized animals which are caged for long periods.
Authorities say the elephant was suffering from an infection and in very poor health when it reached the centre. The owners of the private park contend that it was fine before the raid and its health deteriorated afterward, possibly as a result of the sudden change in environment.
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