Thai poachers kill elephant in sanctuary for tusks

BANGKOK (AP) — A conservation center in Thailand says poachers have killed and sawed the tusks off a 50-year-old elephant that performed in royal processions and was even featured in Oliver Stone’s 2004 movie “Alexander.”

Laithongrian Meephan of the Ayutthaya Elephant Palace and Royal Kraal said the elephant was found dead Friday morning. Poachers had apparently poisoned it before cutting off its tusks.

The center breeds and trains elephants, and also serves as a retirement home for aging beasts.

Some of them take part in ceremonial shows for members of Thailand’s royal family in Ayutthaya, the country’s ancient capital.

Laithongrian said the elephant, named Klao, was used in some scenes of the film “Alexander,” which starred Colin Farrell and Angelina Jolie.

Thailand is a transit hub and destination for the illegal ivory trade.

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