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Male elephant killed at Pattaya elephant camp


From the “Bangkok post”
Tourists and staff at an elephant centre in Chon Buri ran for their lives on Thursday morning as two male tuskers fought over a female, and the old one was killed by the younger one, ASTV Manager newspaper reported.

Authorities called to Khao Chi Chan Pattaya Elephant Centre in Sattahip district found the severely gored body of 69-year-old Phlai Sompong.

The dead tusker was one of the 22 elephants that carry tourists on sightseeing rides at the centre. Phlai Sompong was killed in a battle with Phlai Noi, a 30-year-old male tusker bought from Surin province to mate with female elephants at the samp, ASTV Manager said on its website. Mahout Pairatch Sooksri, 30, said he secured Phlai Noi to a tree outside the elephant shelter with a metal chain and went to have a shower to prepare for work.

The elephant broke the chain while he was away and then rushed into the shelter and tried to mate with a female who was in oestrus. The younger elephant was then confronted by the patriarch, Phlai Sompong, and they clashed fiercely, panicking tourists and staff alike. The Surin bull drove his tusks into the old elephant’s belly several times, and he collapsed and died.

It was not clear how the metal chain was broken. The rampaging bull elephant was immobilized with a tranqillizer fired from a dart gun and later chained to a tree in a remote area of the camp, he said. Panjamaporn Sinsookborirak, the centre’s manager, said there were only a few visitors in the camp at the time. No one was injured.

—end of news story—

Comments by Edwin Wiek:
The above story needs a bit more info:
– The young elephant was the one that got loose and attacked the old one, who never stood a chance as he was chained on all 4 legs with front legs tightly chained up against one and other. He could not move more than one meter to the left or the right and was therefore killed without any chance of fighting back. (see photos hereunder)
– People all run for cover including tourists and children. As it was during the lunch time there were luckily not too many people around.
– The chain wasn’t broken. One of the mahouts declared he did not tie up the knot properly as he went for lunch,he probably just didn’t want to tie it too tight as he had to remove it after lunch again.
– Examples of poor management and care at tourist elephant camps is horrible in Thailand, often resulting in human causalities, this time an old male elephant died due to the lack of proper care and a poor safety management.

All legs of the elephant chained together

All legs of the elephant chained together

The old elephant never stood a chance

The old elephant never stood a chance

Mahouts removed the tusks of the dead elephant to sell the ivory, which is unfortunately still legal in Thailand.

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