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Swiss expat’s elephant foundation to lose licence

PHOTO: Facebook/Green Elephant Sanctuary Park Phuket

The Phuket governor says an elephant foundation operated by Swiss expat Urs Fehr is to lose its licence. Sophon Suwannarat confirmed that officials deemed the foundation was being used for illegal purposes. This, despite officials deeming, last week, that the Foundation’s paperwork appeared to be in order.

“The Phuket provincial hall through public prosecutors will ask a court to dissolve the elephant foundation.”

Mr Fehr has been charged with assault after allegedly kicking a Thai doctor in the back as she sat on steps leading from the beach to his rented Cape Yamu villa.

Since then, he has had both his visa and his gun licences revoked and the steps in question have been demolished after officials determined they were illegally built on public land.

While an investigation determined that his elephant park is legally registered, Sophon says an elephant foundation run by Fehr uses the same logo as the park and Phuket officials are looking into the operations of both. The foundation was established in 2001 with the stated aim of saving and treating injured elephants.

According to a Bangkok Post report, the authorities say the foundation was originally called Green Elephant, before being renamed to Green Elephant Wildlife. It shares its address with the elephant park. The park is currently home to 14 elephants, 13 of whom are rented while another was purchased from the northern province of Phrae.

The park’s website states that it covers an area of 40,000 square metres in the sub-district of Cherngtalay, in the Thalang district of north Phuket.

Officials have also confirmed that in addition to investigating the park and foundation, they are also looking into Fehr’s bank accounts.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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