Elephant herd continue to cause havoc in central Thailand

Photo courtesy of Matichon

Volunteers in Prachin Buri province warned reporters to watch out for wild elephants in Wang Tha Chang Subdistrict yesterday, January 8, during their visit.

The Subdistrict Administrative Organisation and village headman were watching out for wild elephants from Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary, Chachoengsao Province, which migrated across the border. The herd, comprising over 150 elephants, invaded deep into the local village to find food in the areas of Wang Tha Chang Subdistrict and Khao Mai Kaeo Subdistrict Kabinburi District, Prachin Buri Province since last year.

The Subdistrict Administrative Organisation joined with Khao Ang Rue Nai wildlife rangers to continuously push the elephants back into the protected forest area each time. Most recently the Conservation Area Administration Office No. 1 (Prachin Buri) and the Conservation Area Administration Office No. 2 (Sriracha) joined forces with more than 200 officers.

Together with Wang Tha Chang Subdistrict Administrative Organisation from Kabin Buri District, and various networks totaling 250 officers, chased 150 elephants back into the Khao Ang Rue Nai forest. The elephant herd tried to leave the forest again by changing the course of their migration across the coast to find another way to forage for food. The elephants learnt to move in smaller herds which did not cause people to panic like before.

The herd searched for food in the area of Wang Tha Chang Subdistrict, Khao Mai Kaeo Subdistrict, Kabin Buri District again and only during the night.

A herd of four wild elephants was found yesterday, January 8, living in the sugarcane forest at Khlong Bunlert Village, Village No. 16, Wang Tha Chang Subdistrict, Kabin Buri District which attracted villagers to gather and watch. The wild elephants came to graze in the farmland areas every day, which caused fear and nuisance to the villagers in the area. The surveillance team reported that an elephant had been spotted in the vicinity of houses.

Villagers had to be on watch over their property for fear of damage by the elephant herd, while officials used drones to survey the area. The wild elephants knew that they were being chased away so by experience, the herd retreated into the sugar cane forest and found a way to hide from the surveillance team, reported Matichon.

Chasing operation

The officials waited and were on the lookout for the herd in the afternoon and evening yesterday. They aimed to chase the elephants away towards Ban Wang Kwang, heading towards Khao Makong, passing Ban Wang Mai, Wang Mon, and into the forest area, which is the former living area of Ang Rue Nai wild elephants.

Phithak Jaiyu, a council member of the Subdistrict Administrative Organisation, Village No. 5, said that in the past, conservation officials and Khao Mai Kaeo Subdistrict and Wang Tha Chang Subdistrict had worked together to chase away the wild elephants. At least two herds of wild elephants are seen every day in the area.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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