Pregnant elephant tramples mahout to death in northeast Thailand

Photo via Daily News

A pregnant elephant trampled its 60 year old mahout to death in Buriram province in northeast Thailand yesterday. The deceased’s wife said the elephant was moody because of the extremely hot weather.

Officers at Satuek Police Station were called to Ban Nong Kaen village in Sanam Chai district after receiving a report that an elephant killed its owner. Police found the body of 60 year old Chat Mokhom, a native of Surin province, lying dead near a stream, reports DailyNews.

Police said Chat’s legs and arms were broken and his body was bruised and battered from head to toe.

Chat was trampled to death by his 53 year old female elephant “Mae Nam-gnam,” who fled after the fatal attack. Villagers tried to capture the elephant but it was difficult given the elephant’s violent mood.

Staff from Surin’s Kingdom Project Elephant Hospital were mobilised to get the elephant under control to prevent further damage. The staff drove the elephant into a confined area before shooting her with an anaesthetic dart.

The staff said they had to be extra careful not to cause any harm to Mae Nam-ngma’s unborn baby since the elephant is five months pregnant. After five hours, the elephant was finally detained.

Chat’s 64 year old wife Phatthana Mokhom said that Chat bought the elephant in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, a little over one month ago for a price of 1.5 million baht.

The mahout regularly took Mae Nam-gnam to bathe in a nearby stream, said Patthana. Yesterday, Chat took the elephant down to the stream in the early morning as usual, but he never returned.

Patthana said she is not sure why the elephant turned on Chat, but the two didn’t know each other that well after only one month. Chat still didn’t know Mae Nam-ngam’s character fully, she said. The elephant probably got frustrated in the hot weather, Patthana added.

Chat’s 34 year old son Komsan Phu-ngern said that his father had a career in raising elephants and regularly bought and sold them. He said that his father was alone and had no one to help him when things went wrong.

A witness, 56 year old Sudjai Khawdee, said he was standing 200 metres away when the elephant attacked. He said that he saw the elephant pick up Chat and throw him into the water before trampling him to death. The elephant has probably hurt people before, suspects Sudjai.

Pregnant elephant kills owner in northeast Thailand
Photo via DailyNews

Northern Thailand News


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.

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