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Wild elephants trampled Chaiyaphum sanctuary worker

Neill Fronde



PHOTO: Elephants trampled a man at Phu Khieo wildlife sanctuary (via Khaoyai News)

A man working for a wildlife sanctuary in Chaiyaphum was found dead near his living quarters this morning, and the giant footprints found in the area leave little mystery of who killed him. Sangwian Phimdee, a 55 year old employee of the Phu Khieo wildlife sanctuary in Khon San district was working the night shift at the guard post when he was trampled to death by wild elephants.

His coworkers reported hearing elephants rustling in the area around 8:30 pm last night, coming near to the camp in order to eat wild mangoes and Jackfruit that grow there. It was raining at the time, and the man left his room shortly after at 9 pm to walk the approximately 200 metres to his guard post.

3 wild elephants often come to graze on the fruit in that area, so his coworkers thought nothing at the sounds of them nearby. The elephants are 15, 20, and 30 years old and there had never been any incident previously with attacks or violence. But it wasn’t until 5:20 am this morning that someone found the stomped body of Sangwian. Both of his legs were broken, and he was found lying in a pool of blood.

Other employees called for help, but it was too late and the man trampled by elephants was already dead. Elephant footprints were found within 80 metres of his housing, along with other signs that elephants had been in the area last night.

Co-workers and police suspect that Sangwian may not have even noticed the elephants grazing as he walked to his work post yesterday evening. The man and the elephants may have startled each other simultaneously and the spooked elephants may have trampled him to death in the panic.

The incident comes at the same time as the world-famous Sriracha Tiger Zoo placed an ad on their website selling their 11 elephants, looking for a new owner and caretaker for the group.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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