Elephant kills plantation worker (Thailand)


Bangkok Post

Date Published

CHANTHABURI — An elephant that had been separated from her calf stomped a Lao worker to death at a cassava plantation in Khao Kitchakut district of this eastern province on Friday night.

Khemphet Chaiyasarn, 36, was found dead with a broken neck and broken ribs at the cassava plantation in tambon Khlong Plu, said Pol Capt Chumphon Chansang, a duty officer at Khao Khitchakut police station.

A firelock gun and a flashlight were found not far from his body in the badly damaged cassava plantation, Thai media reported on Saturday.

Theerapong Srikhongrak, 24, told police that he heard someone screaming for help and the sound of an elephant from the cassava plantation. He and his neighbours rushed to the scene and found Khemphet lying dead there.

Not far from the body of the victim, they also saw the elephant, which went berserk and was about to attack them. He and the other villagers fled in panic and alerted local leaders, said Mr Theerapong.

Buakham Chaiyasarn, 51, the wife of the victim, told police that her husband had gone to Khao Kratai mountain near the cassava plantation to lay a trap for wild rabbits on Friday night.

She said she tried in vain to stop her husband from going out at night as local leaders had warned earlier that several wild elephants had been invading local plantations. He did not listen and left the house with his gun, she said as tears rolled down her face.

Sanan Buddee, head of the Khlong Namhaeng forest, said the elephant that attacked the worker had been separated from her calf and the herd, which had about 18 pachyderms.

Because she was parted from her baby, the elephant became heavily stressed and dangerous to humans, said Mr Sanan.

Forestry officials at his unit and the Khao Soi Dao wildlife sanctuary are working with soldiers to track down the elephant and get it back to its herd.