AbZOOlutely Not** or The Controversy of Zoos & Others Keeping Elephants in Captivity

His Little Elephant “Body Finally Gave Out”: Performing Baby Elephant Dumbo, from the Phuket Zoo Elephant Show in Thailand, Has Died

What We Learned:

Baby Elephant’s Name: multiple names: nicknamed Dumbo by animal activist charity Moving Animals; known as Jumbo at the Phuket Zoo; had also been called Dodo & Ping Pong.

Gender: Male

Date of Birth: 8 December 2015                   

Birthplace: “originally from Hua Hin” Thailand

Date of Baby Elephant’s Death: Saturday 20 April 2019 at 3 am

Place of Rest/Burial: on the grounds of “the Elephant Hospital Southern Thailand in Krabi, operated by the National Elephant Institute”

Elephant ID: “a legally registered elephant carrying microchip number 122767173A” 

Situation That Led to Baby Elephant’s Demise: The incident took place on Saturday 13 April 2019. The baby bull elephant called Dumbo aka Jumbo had been placed (prior to the incident) “in a special area created just for him so he could recover” from an infection that vets at The Phuket Zoo had begun treating. Sadly, this was the area where Dumbo got his front legs stuck in the mud.

While maneuvering his back legs, on his own, (which were more elevated and on “dry ground”) they just snapped. Dumbo was in such a weakened state, his bones were so “thin & brittle” that each leg broke, one after the other.

Even as his keepers finally lifted the baby elephant out of the mud they did not realize his back legs were broken. Dumbo was therefore kept in his isolation area at the zoo, from 13 – 17 April, until the vet became alarmed by the “swelling (of the elephant’s broken limbs) that did not subside”. Dumbo was then taken to Elephant Hospital.


Image: Thailand Phuket Zoo skeletel Dumbo full copyright belongs to Moving Animals

Elephant Treatment Facility:  the Elephant Hospital Southern Thailand in Krabi, operated by the National Elephant Institute 

Admitted to Elephant Hospital: 17 April 2019

Diagnosis at Elephant Hospital: “’Jumbo did not show any signs of EEHV (elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus). He had an infection in his digestive tract that resulted in Jumbo suffering constant diarrhea, which caused other health complications, including the fact that his body was not absorbing nutrients as it should, which made him very weak,’ the vet explained”.

“ ‘I believe that the cause of Jumbo’s condition may have resulted from him being born premature. Also, Jumbo liked bananas and other sweet foods. He refused to eat enough fibre-rich food to remain healthy,’ she said”.

Synopsis of days spent at Elephant Hospital: “Jumbo arrived here on April 17. He could not stand and was very weak. We discovered that his back legs were broken and provided medical treatment, but on April 19 he ate very little and he passed away at 3am on April 20”

Cause of Death: previously undiagnosed digestive tract infection

Human Staff: Phuket Zoo Manager :  Pichai Sakunsorn

board director of Phuket Zoo Co Ltd involved with zoo operations”: Suriya Tanthaweewong



When Will They Learn:  that this baby elephant’s value was not in his worth in US dollars or Thai Baht. ( Phuket Zoo Manager :  Pichai Sakunsorn  “This elephant baby was worth more than B1 million.”) 

Dumbo’s worth to the world was so much more…   And until venues that showcase elephant entertainment / performing elephants, such as the Phuket Zoo Elephant Show, are shut down this travesty will continue again and again. We cannot let that happen.

The words of Moving Animals are most appropriate here:

…”For “Dumbo” to die whilst under the so-called “care” and “treatment” of the zoo shows just how neglected these animals are in captivity.

We want to thank everyone for their overwhelming support for “Dumbo”. We hope that “Dumbo” is now finding the peace that he was so cruelly denied in his lifetime, and that his tragic story will urge Thai authorities to finally put an end to outdated animal performances.

 “Dumbo”, Phuket Zoo, March 2019. Rest in Peace.”

Read Dumbo’s story: “Animal Activists Initiate Petition to Save Dumbo the Performing Baby Elephant From a Lifetime of Misery at a Zoo in Thailand

Please sign the latest petition by Moving Animals  “Dumbo the Performing Baby Elephant Dies After His Legs Snap. Shut Down Phuket Zoo!

Image: copyright by Moving Animals Dumbo the baby elephant seeking comfort sucking her trunk like pacifier in her mouth




Please note all quotes not linked are attributed to “Baby Jumbo is dead” by Tanyaluk Sakoot : The Phuket News

Sources:  https://www.thephuketnews.com/baby-jumbo-is-dead-71463.php#lYji01C5cvFijRvu.99


Thank you to Moving Animals who campaigned to Save Baby Elephant Dumbo’s life.

Moving Animals Facebook Message Concerning Dumbo the elephant’s death (please read full post of 17 May 2019 @officialmovinganimals FB )

Moving Animals Facebook

Elephant Spoken Here Facebook

Images: Moving Animals skeletal Dumbo & Moving Animals from The Daily Mail / Mail Online “Baby elephant dies after its back legs SNAP at Thai zoo where it was forced to dance and perform tricks for tourists” by Chris Pleasance for MailOnline 

One thought on “His Little Elephant “Body Finally Gave Out”: Performing Baby Elephant Dumbo, from the Phuket Zoo Elephant Show in Thailand, Has Died

  1. Pingback: “You Are Killing Their Soul”: Animal Welfare NGO Releases Distressing Video Footage of Abusive Methods Used to Break Baby Elephants in Thailand Training Camp : Part 1 | Elephant Spoken Here

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