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Elephant dies after month of treatment for gunshot wounds, 40 bullets found in the body

Caitlin Ashworth



PHOTO: Matichon

A wild elephant died yesterday after nearly a month of medical treatment for gunshot wounds. Officials say more than 40 bullets were found in the body. The 3 tonne elephant had also attacked and killed a park officer last month who was trying to bring the elephant in for treatment.

The elephant, around 20 to 25 years old, was being treated by veterinarians at the Kui Buri National Park in Prachuap Khiri Khan. After the elephant died, border patrol police scanned a metal detector over the body. They say more than 40 bullets from various firearms were found in the elephant’s body. Some were under the elephant’s eye, in its trunk and lodged in its leg bones.

No suspects involved in shooting the elephant have been reported.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Monday, January 11, 2021 at 4:38 pm

    An amazing animal. 40 bullets in it and it was still alive.
    Sad business . . .

  2. Avatar


    Monday, January 11, 2021 at 5:21 pm

    I don’t understand. You treated it since one month and you don’t take out the bullet? How do you expect him to survive?

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, January 11, 2021 at 6:34 pm

      Sometimes it’s better not to take out bullets, Carlos, particularly for large animals where general anaesthetics are required before operating.

      • Avatar


        Monday, January 11, 2021 at 7:03 pm

        Obviously i’m not doctor, anesthetics could of course kill him but pretty sure not taking out the bullet will cause fatal blood poisonous, no? How can you evaluate any damage without doing such intervention? ( Just curiosity, no criticisms 🙂 )

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 12:37 am

          I’ve no idea about the circumstances, Carlos, and I’m neither a doctor nor a vet so it would be pretty pointless to speculate although I’m sure that won’t deter some of the experts here.

  3. Avatar


    Monday, January 11, 2021 at 6:17 pm

    On 1 side the Thai mafia attitude added on another side by the rubbish attitude of some Thais. Who could understand that: Nobody, but that’s a real fact. Crazy country.

  4. Avatar

    Paul Davies

    Monday, January 11, 2021 at 6:49 pm

    Sad! A wild elephant with a limited area to roam, most likely shot at when encroaching on cultivated land and crops.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 12:23 am

      Kuiburi National Park is actually 1,000 sq km.

  5. Avatar

    Issan John

    Monday, January 11, 2021 at 7:18 pm

    I’m not defending whoever shot the elephant in any way, but suggesting that it’s characteristic of Thais or Thailand in any way is completely unjustified.

    Most Thais (the vast majority) would never shoot an elephant any more (or any less 🙂 ) than they’d shoot a fellow human being, if for no reason other than many Theravadans believe elephants are one of the very few other species people can come back as.

    Many of the locals in and around Kuiburi National Park also make their living from the tourists the elephants attract, so the last thing they’d want is anyone shooting the elephants.

    It could have been a nutter (and Thailand has its fair share), the elephant could have been eating crops and shot, although that’s unlikely, or it could even have been the victim of elephant poaching in Myanmar where elephants are being increasingly poached for their skin (not their tusks).

    Nobody knows. Condemning a country as “crazy” because of that, though, is way OTT.

    • Avatar


      Monday, January 11, 2021 at 9:19 pm

      Blindly defending Thailand, Thai people. Even if it is clear that crimes are committed. Your comments here really make me tired.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 12:20 am

        Not “blindly defending” anything or anyone – nobody has any idea what happened, where or why, but the bigots here hung an entire country out to despite that. No surprises here at all.

      • Avatar


        Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 1:13 am

        He even defends child prostitution in Thailand, saying that the children chose themselves to become prostitutes…

        I am surprised that he doesn’t say that the elephant himself chose to be shot and that you cannot blame Thai people 😉

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 9:47 pm

          I think you mentioned this before, even though I said no such thing. Rather tedious …

      • Avatar


        Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 5:49 am

        Totaly agree with you Robert.
        Very very tired.

    • Avatar


      Monday, January 11, 2021 at 10:04 pm

      Most Thais (the vast majority) ”
      So, not 100%! You are unique and everybody too!

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 12:42 am

        Correct, “the vast majority” is “not 100%”.

        How fortunate you must be to come from and live in a country where nobody has a “rubbish attitude” or “mafia attitude”.

  6. Avatar


    Monday, January 11, 2021 at 8:33 pm

    Actually, its a crazy world, not just Thailand that is a crazy country. And thats putting it mildly. Would a person who spends all their time scanning news articles and commenting on everything also be considered a nutter?

    • Avatar


      Monday, January 11, 2021 at 10:45 pm

      Yes, I think really!

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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