Wild elephant electrocuted to death in eastern Thailand

Photo via KhaoSod

A wild elephant was electrocuted to death at a jackfruit plantation in the middle of the jungle in Chachoengsao province in eastern Thailand yesterday. A farmer installed electric wires around his farm to prevent his jackfruit from being stolen by elephants.

At 1pm yesterday, officers at Tha Thakiab Police Station were informed that a wild male elephant was found dead in the foothills of the Pong Kan Lueang mountain in the Klong Takrao subdistrict.

Officials from Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary travelled with police to the jackfruit farm, which is located in the dense jungle and can only be accessed on foot.

Police found the elephant carcass lying on its back next to electric wires. The elephant’s stomach was bloated and was emitting a foul stench, said police.

Police met with 68 year old Boontham, who told police he discovered the dead elephant at around noon. Boontham said that elephants kept stealing his expensive fruit so he decided to install electric wires to protect the plants.

Officers said they will investigate the case further. It’s not clear whether Boontham has committed a criminal offence or not at this stage.

If an electric fence causes the death of a human in Thailand, the Criminal Court examines each incident on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes, the use of electric fences to defend property is deemed a legitimate use of rights.

In some cases where electric fences have caused death, the court has found the defendant guilty of Section 290 of the Criminal Code…

“Whoever causes death to the other person by inflicting injury upon the body of such a person without intent to cause death, shall be punished with imprisonment of three to 15 years.”

But there is no specific law regarding the electrocution of protected wildlife. However, Boontham could be prosecuted for violating the Wildlife Act.

The electric current must have been very strong to kill an elephant.

In December last year, a seven-tonne elephant was electrocuted to death by an electric fence installed by a fruit farmer in Chanthaburi province in central Thailand.

Thailand News

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.