Beware of Thailand’s Dangerous Elephants
Thais are easygoing about personal safety. If you want to play with a tiger or a snake, they’ll let you. They assume you know the risks. If the tiger mauls you, the crocodile bites you, or the snake crushes you…that’s your business. There’s no legal recourse. No-one holds you back from taking risks, and no-one compensates you if you’re injured as a result. Last year a woman, an experienced Australian veterinarian (she worked with farm animals in the Australian countryside) approached a Thai pigmy elephant without having been introduced – and the animal charged her, gored her, and killed her. This year it’s someone who should know better: a Thai. A Thai monk, in fact.
A Buddhist monk in Khao Saming district of Trat province was killed when he tried to chase away a wild elephant entering the temple looking for food.
The incident happened Sunday night at Wat Khao Cha-om temple in Village Group 8 of Tambon Sator of Khao Saming district. However the body of the monk identified later as Phra Prasit Jakavaro.
Temple boys told the police that several wild elephants entered the temple area last night as they used to in the past few months looking for food.
Phra Prasit came out of his living place to chase the elephants as usual.
But this time one elephant didn’t go but charged into the monk. He ran around a mango tree in bid to escape but couldn’t make through.
He was pulled with the trunk and smashed at the tree, and stepped on the head by the angry elephant.
He died with his face to the ground near the tree. His face was crushed and skull and several bones were also broken.
The abbot of the temple said wild elephants coming down from mountains for food was a chronic problem of the temple and villagers.
He said two years ago a villager was also killed by wild elephants in the same area.
Bear in mind that elephants are highly emotional, intelligent, and proud creatures. Treat Thailand’s dangerous elephants with great respect and equally great caution and you’ll find them to be wonderful, even inspiring.
More reading on Thailand’s wild elephants:
- CITES Met in Bangkok To Protect At-Risk Plants and Wildlife … – USAID, along with the State Department and Embassy Bangkok, are working together to protect wildlife and plants in Thailand. … Posted by Kristie A. Kenney, U.S. Ambassador to Thailand on Wednesday, March 13th 2013 … While the plight of elephants, tigers, rhinos, and other great animals get a lot of the attention, it’s important not to forget the thousands of other plant and animal species that have been threatened by human exploitation — sometimes to the point of extinction.
- U.S. Statement on the Trade Policy Review of Thailand » US … – More than a century and a half ago, the King of Thailand offered to send elephants to President Lincoln to help with the Civil War effort. Our trade has come a long way since then. Last year, it reached $35 billion in two-way …
- Surin Elephant Festival – HubPages – The Surin Elephant Festival is an annual event in the Kingdom of Thailand. The origins are lost in time but probably originated from a couple of mahouts bragging as …
- Wild Thailand: Elephants, Cobras and Tigers – GoNOMAD Travel – Wild Thailand: Elephants, Cobras and Tigers. By David Rich. After a half dozen trips to Thailand it can get boring, except for a single friend of mine who travels yearly for the adventure of serial Thai ladies. For him it seems to never get boring.