6 June 2024

Sak Surin, the ailing Thai elephant in Sri Lanka, is now fit enough to be flown back to Thailand on July 1st as scheduled.

According to the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, Sak Surin’s health has improved substantially, it is in a good mood and appears to understand instructions given in Thai. The two abscesses on its back are healing after being treated by a team of Thai vets, flown to Sri Lanka to prepare it for repatriation.

The chartered flight from Sri Lanka to Chiang Mai will take about six hours on the evening of July 1st.  

The elephant may have to spend a night at Chiang Mai zoo, if it is tired from the long journey, before being taken to the elephant conservation centre in Lampang for further treatment, rehabilitation and permanent stay.

A specially-built cage to house the elephant during the journey is now almost complete and is expected to be sent to Sri Lanka in the next 7 days.

30-year-old Sak Surin was presented to Sri Lanka by the Thai government on January 8th, 2001.