Unruly jumbos face reform (Thailand)


Apinya Wipatayotin, Bangkok Post

Date Published
?T?he National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department is to set up a camp to reform the behaviour of aggressive wild elephants.
Department deputy chief Theerapat Prayurasiddhi said officials would seek around 4,000 rai of land inside the Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary covering Chachoengsao, Sa Kaeo, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat provinces.
Mr Theerapat said the area will be developed into a camp to train unruly elephants. The camp is expected to open by the end of this year. At least 100 aggressive wild elephants will be trained there, he said.
Mr Theerapat said the idea came after a series of confrontations between human beings and wild elephants, particularly in the eastern provinces, Kanchanaburi province in the West and Prachuap Khiri Khan province in the lower Central region.
According to departmental statistics, 25 people were killed by elephants between last year and the end of last month. The death toll does not include an accident in which a car and wild elephant collided in Rayong province in March, leaving six people dead.
The most recent incident took place in Kanchanaburi last month where wild elephants living in Salak Phra Wildlife Sanctuary killed two people who were out in the forest.
“We have no choice left. If we let these fierce elephants live in the forest, they might harm and kill many more people, or the animals might be killed by humans,” he said. “Staying in our camp, they will be trained to be more friendly. We might use them for elephant patrols in the future.”
Mr Theerapat said the camp will be allocated different zones. Elephants will be allowed to roam in a more spacious area once they are “trained?.”
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