Dead elephant ‘poisoned’ in park (Thailand)


Chaiwat Satyaem , Bangkok Post

Date Published
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PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN — A wild elephant was found dead in Kui Buri National Park on Tuesday, a day after authorities found an empty, discarded bag of insecticide left nearby. 
A combined team of national park officials, veterinarians, soldiers and police inspected the carcass of a six-year-old male elephant, found Tuesday morning near a royally-initiated Kunshorn forest restoration project inside the park.
The team said the young animal had blood coming from his mouth and trunk when it died. The death occureed two or three days ago, they said. An on-the-spot investigation concluded the animal “died from an unnatural cause.”
The elephant collapsed and died about 100 metres from where park officials late Monday afternoon found a used bag of Lannate insecticide near the office of the Kunshorn forest restoration project. Three of 39 gaurs found dead under mysterious circumstances died in the same area. 
Officials initially detected blue powder believed to be insecticide scattered on the ground under a mango tree. Checks in the area discovered the used Lannate bag hidden in a tree near a stream. 
The finding prompted authorities to sweep the area Tuesday morning to check if any animals had been harmed by the chemical, and the search found the elephant’s carcass. 
An investigation is under way to find the person responsible for the elephant’s death. 
Lannate, by DuPont, is a wide-spectrum insecticide, commonly used by both fruit and vegetable farmers, and easy to obtain.