Topic: Elephant hospital to open in Krabi

The Royal Forestry Department has announced the imminent opening of an elephant hospital in Klong Thom district - the first of its kind in southern Thailand.

There are some 800 working elephants in the southern region, both in the logging and tourist industries, and any work-related injuries are currently treated by local vets, most of whom have no experience with these creatures. The centre will help to overcome this problem and it will also have a mobile unit to visit sick or injured animals in the 14 southern provinces, as well as providing shelter for homeless elephants, who are no longer able to work.

An area of 500 rai across Krabi and Trang provinces has been allocated to grow food for the elephants, and to host them if their owners can no longer take care of them.

The centre is due to open on 21 June 2010 and has an initial two year mandate.