Thursday 20 June 2019

Thailand farmer killed by Elephant.

A farmer in Thailand has died after being gored by an Elephant. Surasak Picharanakhonburi, 26, of Buri Ram Province was sleeping under a Mosquito net with his wife on a Cassava plantation which he owned in Ban Khlong Hin village, when three Elephants came upon them, early in the morning of Thursday 20 June 2019. His wife Sureerat Thabuangsri, 27, escaped and hid beneath a vehicle, but Picharanakhonburi received a serious chest wound from one of the Elephant's tusks and died.

Police investigators at the scene of an Elephant attack in Buri Ram Province, Thailand, on 20 June 2019. Surachai Piragsa/Bangkok Post.

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. A herd of Elephants encountering a new Human settlement, particularly a poorly defended structure, 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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