Thai Elephant Returns Home After 22 Years in Sri Lanka

A 29-year-old Thai elephant named Muthu Raja, also known as Sak Surin, has returned to his home country after spending 22 years in Sri Lanka. Activists claim that the elephant suffered mistreatment during his time abroad, including being forced to work with a logging crew and experiencing abuse from his handler. The elephant was rescued from a Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka following a campaign by an animal rights group.

He was then taken to a zoo in the Sri Lankan capital, where he was found to be in pain and covered in abscesses. The elephant’s journey back to Thailand cost hundreds of thousands of US dollars and has strained ties between Thailand and Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s prime minister has apologized to the Thai king over the animal’s condition.

Thailand has now stopped sending its elephants abroad and is checking the conditions of those already overseas.

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