Sunday, 1 September 2019

Villager attacked by Elephant after collision with car in Thailand.

A villager has been badly injured after being attacked by an Elephant believed to have been in a collision with a car in the Thong Pha Phum District of Kanchanaburi Province in central Thailand on Saturday 31 August 2019. The initial incident happened happened on Highway 323 at about 1.10 am local time, when the animal was hit by a Toyota Fortuner, driven by a Myanmar national identified as Yi Teng, resulting in the vehicle being overturned and the driver injured. Following the incident officials from the Thong Pha Phum National Park and local villagers formed search parties to look for the Elephant, due to concerns that it might be injured. At about 2.00 pm local time a team of three searchers encountered a male Elephant, estimated to have been about 8-10 years old and weighing about 4000 kg, about 500 m from the scene of the original accident. The Elephant attacked the group, resulting in one of the men Tewan Munnut, 26, being trampled and suffering a broken rib and punctured lung. He is being treated at the Phahon Phonphayuhasena Hospital in Kanchanaburi.

 The scene of an accident in which a car was overturned in an encounter with an Elephant in Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand, on 31 August 2019. Kanchanaburi Rescue Foundation.

The wild Elephant population of Thailand has fallen from about 100 000 in 1850 to about 2700, largely due to deforestation and Human expansion into their range. Many animals will simply flee such incursions, or, if unable to, are likely to end up in the cooking pots of hungry villagers. Elephants, however, are a somewhat different proposition. They are large animals, not used to being challenged by other animals in their home ranges, and typically live in matriarchal herds of up to a hundred, with herds holding large territories, criss-crossed by Elephant trails. Elephants encountering Human objects they dislike are unlikely to attempt to go round it, and are quite likely to maximise the damage they cause to show their displeasure.

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