A starved elephant found covered in bloody sores had to receive urgent medical care as rescue workers discovered the animal “days from death”.
Jumbo elephant Khun Pan had been forced to give rides to tourists before the Covid pandemic hit and the park in Thailand was forced to shut.
His owner, Lee Petchkla, 55, admits has 37 elephants that are “all struggling” but said “Khun Pan is he weakest” because of his old age.
The animal was miraculously discovered just “days before death” and locals alerted a veterinary clinic in nearby Pattaya who rushed to save Khun.
Medics arrived on Saturday, February 14 and found the elephant too weak to stand on its own.
Khun even had sores all over his body from where he had been laying on the hard, dusty ground, and his bones were protruding through his skin.
The elephant’s tusks had also started to weaken and crack and vets were forced to hoist the animal up with leather straps to administer an IV drip.
According to reports, the drip contained a saline solution to help rehydrate Khan the animal’s owner blamed the lack of tourists for the elephant’s condition.
He said: “The pandemic has meant there are no tourists and I don’t have any income to feed them. I don’t know what else to do.
“I will try my best to take care of them. I hope they can get proper care from an expert. If there are no more tourists, I will take them back to my village.”
The owner added that because of the second coronavirus outbreak in the country, he can not afford pineapples or other sources of nutrition to feed Khan.
Upon hearing the news, locals arrived at the park to given the starving elephant much-needed bananas and sugarcane.
Khun has been allowed to stay at the park despite his condition as vets felt he had begun to feel a little bit stronger.
Lee also runs shows with monkeys in fancy dress riding bikes and uses the elephants to perform tricks for tourists and give them rides.