STEF welcomes first elephants at the Veterinary Centre

First elephants on site

Choosri and Namneung, the first elephants to arrive at the STEF Veterinary Centre, check out the facilities

With much excitement STEF recently welcomed its first elephants onto the site of the veterinary centre at Khok Kloi – not as patients but to help carry out a test run of all the equipment and facilities at the site. Choosri and Namneung were transported in a truck from the Phang Nga Elephant Park to Khok Kloi where they obligingly tried out all the different pieces of kit, and carried out their own thorough investigation of the facilities. Both the elephants and Dr Aon were happy with the results.

Testing was done at the ha ha (a specially constructed unloading bay, where elephants walk off the back of their truck onto the same level), the stocks and hoist, the paddock, the securing rings and the weighbridge (essential for calculating the amounts of medication given to an elephant and for checking on general health), which all worked well. While they were there, Namneung and Choosri also received an injection for skin parasites.

Following the successful testing of the facilities, Dr Aon is now confident that the hospital is fully prepared to take elephant patients as and when needed. She will of course continue her work visiting elephants in the mobile clinic, but any serious cases can now be admitted to the hospital. From the purchase of a 6.5 acre patch of land (see our timeline) to the creation a fully functioning elephant veterinary centre in less than five years (which included setbacks caused by Covid), we are feeling very proud of our achievement, knowing that elephants in the region will now have much easier access to hospital care.

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