No need to kill a chained captive elephant
(We are putting this story up as it has not been in the news, for our record on elephant incidents and accidents in Thailand)
On April 3rd, 2014 villagers in Sabayoi, Songkla, Southern Thailand, were alarmed by the screams of a mahout (elephant keeper) who was attacked by a 10 year old captive bull elephant. The young bull that was chained up was in musth and trampled the mahout to death. The elephant was still very stressed right after the attack, however hours later when the elephant had calmed down 5 government officials came to the village with guns, saying they were there to clear the problem. At this time the villagers begged the officials not to harm or kill the elephant as it had cooled down and was securely chained up.
The 5 officials however decided to get on with their task, not clarifying who had given the orders to kill the elephant, shooting the chained pachyderm from different angles, dying a slow death on the spot not being able to run or hide.
Villagers were stressed by the view of the ordeal of this elephant and asked again for an explanation why the Department of National Parks wildlife rescue team was not called in to dart the elephant to move it, or any other rescue team to help out. The police officers denied to reply and left the elephant to be buried by the local authorities.
We at WFFT are very saddened by yet another unnecessary death of both the mahout and a captive elephant.Pictures courtesy of Fon Jutamas