But the incident sheds light on just one case — and it's hard not to consider how many cases go unseen at facilities like this due to a lack of regulation.
"Thailand, like many other countries in the region, faces numerous challenges in detecting and suppressing the trafficking of its native wildlife," Nuggehalli Jayasimha, managing director of Humane Society International (HSI) in India, told The Dodo. "Lack of strong animal welfare legislation and lack of regulation of zoos, circus and street performance has resulted in [the] suffering of elephants."
There are indications that progress is being made. "In March last year, [Thailand] announced a 10 percent increase in elephant numbers within protected areas," Jayasimha said. But there's still room to grow: "Having a robust animal protection legislation that will create a deterrent to animal abusers will have a positive impact."