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: 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

Gaur seriously injured by car crash outside Khao Yai Park

4th December 2017;

A Gaur (Bos gaurus) was seriously injured after it was hit by a car in Nakhon Ratchasima’s Pakchong district on Monday. The animal escaped to a nearby forest as a crowd that started gathering around it.

An unidentified man driving a truck at about 3am alerted local police and a rescue team that he had found the wild bison lying in the middle of a road about four to five kilometres from the downtown district.

Officials found the heavily bleeding big Gaur at the scene but it fled after people started gathering nearby.

An initial investigation found that it had been hit by a car, which apparently had been heavily damaged but was capable of driving. The animal was the hit again by a motorcycle, resulting in injuries to the rider, who was sent to hospital for treatment.

The rescue team continued efforts to locate the wild buffalo and a vet team from Khao Yai National Park was put on standby.

Officials and bystanders wondered how the Gaur had found its way from Khao Yai National Park, which is about 40 kilometres away. Pak Chong market is within a few kilometres of the accident site.

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

Source: The Nation

Gaur seriously injured by car crash outside Khao Yai Park

Thailand: Authorities convene meeting to curb Gaur killings
13th November 2017;

Meetings to solve conflicts between local farmers and wild Gaurs (Bos gaurus) have begun after three of the animals were killed near the Khao Phaeng Ma wildlife sanctuary in Nakhon Ratchasima.

Nakhon Ratchasima Governor Wichien Chantharanothai summoned the Wang Nam Khieo district sheriff, local police, the Pak Chong district sheriff, a representative from the Khao Phaeng Ma wildlife sanctuary, a representative from Thap Lan National Park National Park, a representative from Khao Yai National Park and business sector representatives to a meeting at Sakaerat Environmental Research Station in Wang Nam Khieo District on Monday.

Wichien said the participants were trying to agree on mutually beneficial solutions to solve chronic problems between farmers and wild gaurs and establish protections banning hunting the animal.

Gaurs are on the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department’s protected wild animal list, with killing one punishable by four years in jail, a Bt40,000 fine or both.

Police said they were searching for the hunters, while investigators suspected that local farmers were responsible for the two animals that were found dead on Sunday. However they did not rule out that poachers could have been responsible.

Source: The Nation

Thailand: Vets reveal wild Gaurs’ cause of death
13th November 2017;

A veterinarian team of Khao Yai National Park has performed autopsies on two wild Gaurs (Bos gaurus), concluding that the animals were shot dead about seven days ago.

One autopsy revealed that a 10-year-old male Gaur, which weighed about one tonne, had a bullet wound to its chest that pierced its lungs and windpipe. The bullet was not found.

The team speculated that the animal had not died instantly and ran into the woods, dying where its carcass was found.

Villagers of Ban Khao Phaeng Ma in Wang Nam Khieo recently alerted authorities that they had found two large Gaurs dead in the forest near Khao Phaeng Ma wildlife sanctuary.

The second Gaur, a female weighing about 500 kilograms, was butchered and its head was removed.

Officials and police are hunting for poachers or farmers who might have killed the animals to protect their crops. Three wild Gaurs have been found killed in the area in the past week.

Source: The Nation

Thailand: Killings of two more Gaurs prompt new investigation
By Prasit Tangprasert, 13th November 2017;

Nakhon Ratchasima province officials have pledged to solve conflicts between wild Gaurs (Bos gaurus) and local farmers after three animals were killed in Wang Nam Khieo district within a period of one week.

The animals were apparently killed because they had roamed outside the forest and ate farmers’ crops.

Local people in Ban Khao Phaeng Ma of Wang Nam Khieo reported yesterday that they had found two large Gaurs dead in the forest near Khao Phaeng Ma wildlife sanctuary. Each full-grown adult weighed more than 1,000 kilograms.

The first carcass, a female Gaur, had been carved up, with only the skin and head left behind, while the second body of a male was still intact about 100 metres away from the first carcass. A veterinarian team has retrieved the carcasses to conduct autopsies to determine the exact cause of death.

Nakhon Ratchasima Provincial Governor Wichien Chantharanothai expressed concern over the recent deaths yesterday.

As authorities suspected the Gaurs had been killed by local farmers, Wichien said the province knew about the existing problem especially involving communities near Khao Phaeng Ma.

Authorities also had discussed the issue with the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department (DNP), but there were no concrete solutions.

“As there is still no final solution from the DNP, the local authorities can only teach local people to try to live with the wild animals in harmony, while the province will compensate for damages to people’s crops caused by wild animals,” he said. “But since there have already been three Gaur deaths, the province will invite the DNP and related organisations to discuss a solution to this conflict soon.”

On Thursday, the first Gaur was found shot dead in a cassava field near Khao Phaeng Ma wildlife sanctuary, reportedly killed by a farmer because the animal had broken into his plantation and destroyed crops.

Colonel Meechai Khamnerdphrom, superintendent of Wang Nam Khieo Police Station, said police had set up a special investigation team to investigate whether the killings were involved with illegal hunters or wildlife traders. He added that the team had already interrogated all the relevant witnesses.

Meechai said the killers would be brought to justice regardless of the identities.

Source: The Nation

Thailand: Two more rare Gaurs found killed near wildlife sanctuary
12th November 2017;

Two more Gaurs (Bos gaurus) were found killed near Khao Phaeng Ma wildlife sanctuary in Nakhon Ratchasima only three days after the first carcass of the wild cow was discovered.

The local people in Ban Khao Phaeng Ma of Wang Nam Khieo district reported on Sunday that they found two big Gaurs dead in the forest near Khao Phaeng Ma wildlife sanctuary. Each full-grown adult would have weighed over 1,000 kilograms when killed.

The first carcass had been carved up, with only skin and a head left behind, while the second body was still intact and believed to be a male.

Officers of Khao Phaeng Ma wildlife sanctuary inspected the remains of the rare wild animals and quickly notified police already in the hope of bringing the killers to justice.

On Thursday, the carcass of a 10-year-old, 1.2-tonne wild Gaur was found in a cassava field near Khao Phaeng Ma wildlife sanctuary. The cassava farmer said he shot and killed the Gaur after it broke into the plantation and destroyed the crop.

Police suspect that the motive was also related to the increasingly violent conflict between wild Gaurs and local farmers.

Source: The Nation

Thailand: Police investigating farmers for death of wild Gaur near park
By Kasem Chanathinat, Prasit Tangprasert, 11th November 2017;

An ongoing police investigation suggests that angry farmers might have shot dead a wild Gaur (Bos gaurus), a species of cattle, whose carcass was found riddled with five gunshot wounds near a national park in Nakhon Ratchasima’s Wang Nam Khieo district earlier this week.

The Gaur was about 15 years old and weighed nearly one tonne.

“The animal might have invaded their farm or eaten their crops,” Wang Nam Khieo Police Station’s superintendent Pol Colonel Meechai Kamnerdprom said yesterday.

He said that if the Gaur had been killed by a hunter, its meat and horn would probably have been removed.

The owner of a cassava plantation where the Gaur carcass was found had been taken to the police station for questioning.

“But he has denied any wrongdoing. He has maintained that the Gaur was shot elsewhere but succumbed to injuries in his compound,” Meechai said.

He said the gun used in the Gaur’s killing was of a type widely used by farmers to scare away animals.

“Normally, hunters use a more powerful type of guns,” Meechai said.

Khao Yai Foundation’s secretary Thongchai Saengprathum said wild animals favour several crops grown in the area.

“Gaurs love cassava leaves. Elephants love sugarcane and corn,” he said.

Thongchai added that hunting in the area had been reduced but more wild animals had strayed on to farms in the past few years.

“Farmers have to scare away wild animals every single day,” he said.

Thongchai agreed with Meechai’s theory that the Gaur had been shot because it was on farmland.

Khao Phaeng Ma conservation group coordinator Boripat Sunthorn said four to five Gaurs had been killed every year over the past three years, compared to only one or two cases four years ago and earlier.

Boripat attributed the increase in fatalities to more people farming near the national park’s forest at the same time that the population of wild Gaurs was on the rise. After being evicted from their herd, some Gaurs are forced to seek new territory and find food in corn or tapioca plantations. This triggers an angry response from the farmers, who resort to various methods to drive the animals away.

He urged the Natural Resource and Environment Ministry to tackle the issue.

Source: The Nation