Thailand: Bull Elephant in musth dies after falling off cliff

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4th January 2018;

A captive-raised bull Elephant (Elephas maximus) released into wilderness in Lampang province was found dead at the stream near the foot of a hill in Harng Chat district of Lampang province on Thursday morning.

The 37-year-old elephant “Plai Somrak” was freed into the jungle under a programme called “Releasing Elephants Into Nature”.

Plai Somrak was hunted by Doi Phamuang wildlife sanctuary park officials three days ago after it was on musth and turned aggressive ransacking a Mae Pon elephant camp in Harng Chat and attacking the elephants there.

The male Elephant was chased away and officials launched a hunt for it for fear that it might return and harm local people and attack the camp again.

Officials later found it dead at Huey Mae Pon stream with serious bruise on the forehead.

Veterinarian at Thai Elephant Conservation Centre examined the bruise and believed it might skid and fell off the cliff down to the stream.

The fall broke it’s neck, the veterinarian said and added that it would be examined thoroughly again for actual death cause.

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Source: Thai PBS

Thailand: Elephant hit by car in Khao Yai, only dignity hurt

2nd January 2018;

An Elephant (Elephas maximus) was struck by a tourist’s car in Khao Yai National Park on New Year’s Eve, damaging the vehicle but leaving both human and pachyderm unhurt.

The collision occurred on Highway 3077 in Prachin Buri, the Protected Area Regional Office 1 reported on its Facebook page just after midnight on Tuesday.

Park officials had been patrolling the road and monitoring the movements of Elephants so they could advise tourists on how to observe the wildlife safely.

Park chief Khanchit Srinoppawan said a herd of five Elephants was observed at 7.50pm at the Kilometre 35 marker on Highway 3077.

A car driven by Reungwuth Buranasuk, 56, struck a bull Elephant, shattering a headlight and denting the front end, but veterinarian Pattarapol Manee-on said the animal was unhurt and returned to the forest.

Reungwuth said the Elephants appeared on the road so suddenly that he didn’t have time to brake.

Park officials had noted another herd, this one seven strong, on Highway 2090 less than an hour earlier.

Khao Yai National Park, a World Heritage site, spans Prachin Buri, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Nayok and Saraburi.

Wild Elephants are occasionally seen on the two highways cutting through the park and encounters with passing motorists become more common in high tourist season.

Park officials erect warning signs and advise visitors to remain at least 30 metres from any Elephants, to not take flash photos or honk the horn, and to flee if the Elephants show signs of stress or anger, such as extending their ears and tails.

Visitors are also warned not to speed, make loud noises or feed the animals.

Source: The Nation

Thailand: At Least 400 Rare Marine Animals Perished in 2017

By Asaree Thaitrakulpanich, 25th December 2017;

Thailand’s life aquatic faces a murky future after a year that saw sensitive species injured by humans, beached ashore or choked on trash.

Marine officials said about 400 endangered marine animals died in Thai waters in 2017, with the population of Dugongs (Dugong dugon) running especially low in a year that also saw the Irrawaddy Dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) declared endangered.

“I can’t estimate whether more or fewer animals will die next year,” Weerapong Laovetchprasit, a government marine wildlife veterinarian in Rayong said Monday.

Although the number rose considerably from last year’s 355, marine officials at a Friday press conference Friday said that’s due to better reporting via social media, not necessarily an increase in animal deaths.

“About 400 rare marine animals died this year, mostly because they were beached, injured by fishing boats or ate trash,” said Jatuporn Burutpat, director of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources.

Sea Turtles, Dugongs, Dolphins and Whales are all among marine animals considered rare.

The department’s developmental institute director Ukkrit Sataphumintr said that only 2,500 to 3,500 Sea Turtles are left in Thailand. There are important breeding grounds on Ko Khram in Chonburi, the Similan Islands and Mai Khao Beach on Phuket. He said the low numbers are a cause for concern but credited awareness campaigns for some progress.

“Campaigns for Thai people to conserve Sea Turtles only started working recently after 30 years of trying,” Ukkrit said. “Thai people only just stopped eating Turtle eggs.”

There are about 2,000 Dolphins and Whales in Thailand comprised of more than 27 species. Ukkrit said the marine department has been following the movement of these mammals, especially those of Bryde’s Whales (Balaenoptera edeni or Balaenoptera brydei), and identified more than 60 individuals.

Dugongs may be in the most dire straits, with only 200 to 250 left, mostly in the Andaman Sea around Koh Libong in Trang province.

Nantarika Chansue, a veterinarian at Chulalongkorn University, said passers-by who encounter beached animals should report them to the Department of Marine Resources’ research branches.

Nantarika’s efforts on behalf of marine animals came to public attention earlier this year when she operated on Piggy Bank, a giant Sea Turtle that died following surgery to remove 915 coins from its stomach.

In March, Piggy Bank became a symbol for Sea Turtles kept in captivity when the 25-year-old reptile died from surgery complications, capturing the news cycle for several days.

In December, the Irrawaddy Dolphin and Finless Porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides) – freshwater mammals that have their last bastion in Thailand – were declared endangered by the IUCN Red list.

Any beached marine animals, dead or alive, should be reported to the Department of Marine Resources’s research branches in Rayong, Samut Sakhon, Chumphon, Songkhla or Phuket provinces for rescue or autopsy either via Facebook or calling the listed phone numbers.

Source: Khaosod English

Thailand: At Least 400 Rare Marine Animals Perished in 2017

Thailand: Elephant found dead in Phu Luang wildlife sanctuary
22nd December 2017;

A male Elephant (Elephas maximus), believed to be from the Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary in Loei’s Phu Rua district, was found lying dead at a plantation near Ban Naluang village in Wang Saphung district on Friday morning (Dec 22).

Surapol Prasomsap, chief of the Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary, said he went to the village on Friday morning after being informed of the dead Elephant by villagers from Ban Naluang.

The villagers said they heard a loud noise of seven to eight Elephants fighting in the night but did not dare to leave their houses to take a look.

Mr Surapol said the Elephant was male, 21-22 years old, weighing about three tonnes. There were 12 deep round wounds on the Elephant’s body, which looked like it had been gored with tusks by other Elephants.

The Elephant was believed to have died at least six hours previously.

Wildlife officials believed they were wild Elephants that strayed out of the sanctuary to forage for food and had a fight with one another.

Source: Thai PBS

Thailand: Bull Elephant found gored to death in Loei
22nd December 2017;

A wild bull Elephant (Elephas maximus) was found gored to death near a plantation of villagers in the Wang Saprung district Loei province on Friday morning, officials said.

Sub-Lieutenant Surapol Prasomsup, chief of the Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary, led officials to check a creek near a plantation in Ban Na Luang village in Wang Saprung at 9 am on Friday after villagers informed his office they had heard sounds of male Elephant fighting on Thursday night.

The officials found the body of an Elephant, which appeared to be around 21 to 22 years old, lying near the creek. It had suffered 12 wounds inflicted by Elephant tusks. Each wound was about 39-cm deep.

A veterinarian on the team, Kanayos Kri-una, said the Elephant died about six hours ago.

The officials took sample from its trunk, tongue and tail hair for DNA checking and buried the carcass.

Source: The Nation

Thailand: Baby Elephant drowns in Loei pond

8th December 2017;

A baby Elephant (Elephas maximus) was found drowned in a pond in Loei’s Wang Saphung district on Thursday night.

Anuwat Bootsri, head of Moo 8 village in Tambon Khao Luang, called Phuluang Wildlife Sanctuary director Surapol Prasomsup on Friday morning to report the discovery.

Anuwat said rubber tappers had told him of hearing an Elephant crying out. He investigated and found the female calf, thought to be about a year old, already dead in a pond on the rubber plantation.

Residents waited until morning to pull the animal from the water and inform the authorities.

Anuwat said a herd of about 20 wild Elephants frequented the area. He thought the calls heard the night before were those of the calf’s mother, distraught at its baby being trapped in the pond.

Source: The Nation

Thailand: Baby Elephant drowns in Loei pond

Thailand: Gaur hit by truck in Nakhon Ratchasima dies from its injuries
By Marut Boonnarumit, 5th December 2017;

A Gaur (Bos gaurus) that was seriously injured when it was hit by a truck outside Nakhon Ratchasima’s Khao Yai National Park on Monday, died from its injuries on Tuesday morning.

Vetarinarian Supalak Prachan from the Protected Area Regional 7 Office, led a team to conduct an autopsy on the five-year-old 1.3-tonne Gaur. The examination found the animal suffered fatal trauma and internal bleeding.

The Gaur was found heavily bleeding in the middle of a road about five kilometres from the downtown Pak Chong district at 3am on Monday after it was hit by a 10-wheel truck.

The animal fled into a nearby forest as a crowd gathered. Officials followed the animal and fired three tranquiliser shots to calm it and take it to the park’s Khlong Pla Kang unit in Tambon Wang Mee for treatment.

However, it died at 2am on Tuesday.

The Gaur was listed as a vulnerable species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in 1986.

Source: The Nation