Ranger killed by escaped aggressive wild elephant nicknamed tank

Image courtesy of Khaosod

A wildlife ranger was tragically killed by an aggressive wild elephant nicknamed Tank in the eastern Thai province of Chachoengsao, according to local officials. The incident occurred in the early hours of today, May 16, in the Sanam Chai Khet district of Chachoengsao.

Tha Kradan Subdistrict Administration Organisation Chief Trapsawee Kunsari received reports that a wild elephant had attacked and killed a ranger in Moo 19 village near the Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary boundary.

Rescue teams were immediately dispatched to the area around 60 metres from a rural road, where they found the body of 38 year old ranger Wanlop Burapha from the Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary. His body was in uniform, albeit severely mutilated.

As rescue and medical teams tried to retrieve the body, they received radio alerts that an unknown number of wild elephants were heading towards the area, forcing them to quickly evacuate. The body was then taken to Sanam Chai Khet Hospital for further examination.

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According to Trapsawee, prior to the attack, villagers had reported sightings of a notoriously aggressive wild elephant bull known as Tank roaming the area.

Despite having no tusks, the large elephant is known for its violent behaviour and has been responsible for multiple human deaths in the past.

With the safety of local villagers possibly in jeopardy, Wanlop, alongside a three-person patrol team was dispatched to track Tank’s movements to attempt to drive it back into the wildlife sanctuary.

However, in a spell of heightened aggression, the elephant instead charged towards the ranger, fatally injuring him.

Tank has a long history of conflict with humans, most recently on March 23, when over 100 personnel unsuccessfully attempted to capture the elephant after it wandered into a village in Prachin Buri province before being captured back into Khao Ang Rue Nai Sanctuary.

The elephant then escaped during rainfall to roam the sanctuary once again but with fatal consequences, reported Daily News.

Officials are now assessing the situation and considering further measures to protect local communities while conserving the wildlife in the area. The death has reignited debates around the human-elephant conflict in Thailand’s shrinking forest habitats.

Thailand News

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