Elephant Veterinary Centre
An Elephant welfare project supported by STEF
In 2020 we funded the completion of a much needed Elephant Veterinary Centre at Khok Kloi, north of Phuket, and this year we aim to raise enough money to fully equip the centre and pay for its running costs. Until now, the nearest hospital for elephants in this area was a four-hour journey by truck. The services at the new centre, the first NGO elephant hospital in Southern Thailand (see our news story), will be made available free of charge to elephant owners in Phang Nga and Phuket provinces, and we are already providing a mobile veterinary clinic for elephants that cannot be transported to the veterinary centre.
The STEF Veterinary Centre was opened on November 12th with a blessing from a Holy Monk, and the mobile clinic has been active in the region since then. Dr Aon, our veterinary officer, has been meeting local elephant owners on her visits, and providing treatment (see an example of her work here). Since the clinic opened, Dr Aon has visited and examined over 100 elephants in the region, often returning for check ups.
We feel immensely proud of this achievement, particularly as we’ve had to overcome plenty of obstacles along the way: gaining our Government licence as a veterinary hospital, coping with heavy and damaging monsoon rains and, of course, Thailand’s own Covid lockdowns which have seriously impeded the progress of the building work.
However, there is no time to rest our our laurels. We still need funds to purchase important veterinary equipment and drugs (see Elephant Angels), and to pay ongoing costs for our vet and an assistant.
It is also our aim to construct a Visitor and Education Centre at the site to help visitors understand the importance of the elephant in Thai culture, and to provide an insight into elephant welfare and conservation. To help us provide these critical services please consider supporting our project. You can donate here.
[Please click on photos below to enlarge and read captions]