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Khao Yai National Park has filed a police complaint against a car owner seen on video taunting a wild elephant into chasing his vehicle.
Park chief Kanchit Srinoppawan said on Tuesday that authorities had examined a video clip posted on the @togetherisone Facebook account on Monday and concluded that the Camry sedan driver in the footage had intentionally challenged an elephant walking on a park road to chase his car, just for fun.
“It can’t run faster than my Camry,” the driver says and laughs in the two-minute video, as a woman in the car films an elephant coming towards them. “It never catches up with me,” the driver said. “It’s fun, it’s fun.”
The clip also shows the car stopping twice waiting for the elephant to come closer. It is not clear when it happened, The clip drew negative comments from viewers.
Mr Kanchit said the park filed a complaint against the driver, based on the clip, at Moo Si Police Station in Pak Chong district of Nakhon Ratchasima on Tuesday. Video was submitted as evidence and police asked to find the driver. The driver had committed a violation under the National Park Act by endangering wildlife, disturbing wildlife and people with loud noise, and ignoring park guidelines, the complaint said.
The maximum punishment is one month in prison and a fine of 1,000 baht. The driver had also violated another law against cruelty to animals, it said. Mr Kanchit did not mention the woman seen filming the elephant. W
ild elephants are frequently seen on the roads up to Khao Yai National Park. The park has had a message posted on its Facebook page since June last year advising visitors what to do when they encounter wild animals, including making no noise to disturb elephants and that no vehicles should stop to watch them.