Sak Surin, also known as Muthu Raja, is a 29-year-old elephant that was gifted to Sri Lanka by the Thai royal family in 2001 to be trained as a carrier of religious relics. However, after allegations of abuse and neglect while housed at a Buddhist temple in the south of Sri Lanka, Thai authorities demanded its return. Sak Surin was flown back to Thailand on a commercial flight that cost $700,000.
Sak Surin was returned to Thailand after allegations of abuse and neglect while housed at a Buddhist temple in the south of Sri Lanka. Thai authorities demanded its return. Animal welfare groups said the elephant had been forced to work with a logging crew and that its wounds, some allegedly inflicted by its handler, had been neglected.
After Sak Surin arrived back in Thailand, he was placed in medical quarantine. He will undergo hydrotherapy to treat an injury on his front left leg. The possibility of his return to Sri Lanka after receiving medical treatment has yet to be discussed.
In July 2023 Sak Surin successfully passed his latest medical examination and has been cleared of various elephant-related diseases. He will continue to be in quarantine until early August 2023 at the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre.
The health of Sak Surin, a 30-year-old male Thai elephant, is showing promising signs of recovery despite being diagnosed with multiple tumors. The Thai Elephant Conservation Centre has been monitoring his progress and conducting assessments to ensure his well-being. Physical examinations reveal concerns about the tumors, measuring approximately 10 centimeters each on his thighs and a small lump is noticeable on Sak Surin's right cornea, and he experiences mobility issues in his front left leg.
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- Thai elephant given as a gift returned home after facing ‘years of abuse’ The Express
- Thai elephant flown home after alleged abuse in Sri Lanka BBC
- Neglected Temple Elephant Flown To Thailand Onboard Ilyushin Il-76
- Sri Lanka temple elephant in to return to Thailand after neglect allegations
- Sak Surin clear of elephant-related diseases Thai PBS World
- Muthu Raja: Thai elephant’s recovery promising despite tumour diagnosis Ada Derana