Trunk turmoil: Mother elephant’s rampage leaves owner dead in Surin

Photo courtesy of TNA MCOT

A mother elephant from Surin province, led by its owners to beg along a road, became agitated, charging ahead and trampling her owner, resulting in the mahout’s death in a pool of blood.

Upon receiving the report, local police officers from Kao Liew Police Station were promptly dispatched to investigate the scene, along with emergency medical personnel and rescue teams. The lifeless body of the woman, identified as 35 year old Janthira Chuenlam, was lying on the ground, while the mother elephant and her calf were found tethered to a tree by the roadside.

According to an eyewitness, 18 year old Nattaphak Piluek, the deceased along with her husband and approximately six others, were accompanying the elephants to sell elephant food within the village.

Initially, everything appeared normal but as they offered money to the elephants, the situation suddenly turned violent. The elephant charged, trampling the victim who was standing nearby, resulting in her death. Another witness, 28 year old Tippawan Kawiwon provided crucial insights into the events leading up to the tragedy.

It remains uncertain whether the elephant was agitated due to being separated from each other or if they were startled by the sound of a bell carried by the deceased. After offering money to the elephant, the victim signalled her gratitude, intending to offer a bell as a token of appreciation, which unexpectedly triggered the fatal event.

After the incident, immediate efforts were made to assist the victim and to seek medical help. Despite initial signs of hope, she tragically passed away before reaching the hospital, reported TNA.

Head of the Mahaphot Rescue and Disaster Relief Association 48 year old Kamrai Mokkasak revealed the extent of the victim’s injuries, shedding light on the severity of the situation. As for the elephant, there were no visible signs of distress or abnormal behaviour, it was calmly resting with its baby under a tree in the grassy area. The victim’s body and the elephants were transported back to Surin province.

Provincial livestock officer of Nakhon Sawan Jatesada Ong-Art condemned the inappropriate use of domestic animals for begging, highlighting the violation of multiple laws. He stressed the need for cooperation from related agencies and the public to prevent such tragedies in the future.

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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