Elephant crossing! 35 new road signs warn Kanchanaburi drivers not to hit elephants

After a pickup truck hit and killed an elephant on a Kanchanaburi highway in January, 35 new elephant crossing signs have been posted along that highway, a wildlife sanctuary chief told the Bangkok Post yesterday. Elephants regularly cross this highway, Highway 1399, to move between different feeding areas. The signs warn drivers that the speed limit is 60 kilometres per hour, and they risk imprisonments and fines if they hit elephants.

The pickup truck is just one of several cars that have hit elephants on Highway 1399. On February 1, a van hit another elephant there. Officials have also discovered elephant footprints that show it having an injured left leg. They are still looking to find the injured elephant so they can treat it. The wildlife sanctuary chief said under the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act, drivers who hit and kill elephants could be imprisoned up to 10 years, fined up to one million baht, or both. This applies whether or not hitting the elephant was intentional.

The chief said the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment ordered his wildlife sanctuary office to intensify measures to protect wildlife.

“If motorists break the speed limit and hit a wild elephant, they will be prosecuted.”

Wildlife protection is a major part of Kanchanaburi province, where there are several wildlife sanctuaries, forests, and national parks. Another issue in the province is tiger poaching.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.