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Dead elephant baby found in National Park

Killed by poachers; overdose of anesthesia?

A baby elephant aged between 3 to 6 months old was found dead in Salakpra forest in Kanchanaburi. Villagers from Wangchan in Wangdong district who went to collect forest products found the calf, who had died only a few hours before. The baby elephant had no wounds or bruises and its body looked normal. Officials from the district enforcement suggested it was maybe killed by a poisonous animal such as a snake. Some organs were removed by livestock department veterinarians for forensic tests in Bangkok.

Local villagers said that in the past poachers had entered the park and had taken baby elephants from the wild for the lucrative tourism trade, ending up as show elephants in elephant camps. Some villagers suspected the calf might have been shot with tranquilizers by poachers and had died of an overdose.

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Government officials such as police, livestock vets, forest rangers and district chiefs checking on the dead calf.

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The calf was cremated right after taking samples, making it hard to further investigate the cause of death.

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