Baby elephant not abused, young mahouts say | Bangkok Post: learning

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Baby elephant not abused, young mahouts say

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Maybe we need to look at that video again. What appears to be cruel and abusive treatment of a baby elephant may just be a case of young mahouts trying to deal with an animal that was acting, well, like a baby. 

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Baby elephant owner Sarayuth Khamkonyai, left, denies his young mahouts attacked the elephant. Photos by Nopparat Kingkaew.

Baby elephant not abused, young mahouts say

Maybe we need to look at that video again. What appears to be cruel and abusive treatment of a baby elephant may just be a case of young mahouts trying to deal with an animal that was acting, well, like a baby.

That's what the two teenage mahouts involved in the incident claimed yesterday.

Local authorities and wildlife officials yesterday visited the home of Sarayuth Khamkonyai, 50, the owner of the four-year-old elephant shown in the video clip which was circulated online last week.

The clip shows two young mahouts using hooks to attack the young elephant after it collapsed from what appeared to be exhaustion. They also pulled the elephant's tail and kicked it several times.

Mr Sarayuth yesterday admitted that he was the owner of the elephant, named Rung-arun, and that the two teens work for him.

He denied his mahouts attacked the elephant, saying that Rung-arun was "playing" when it lay on the ground.

The elephant stopped in front of a house where the female owner always fed the animal, but she was not there on that day and the animal refused to move, Mr Sarayuth said.

Rung-arun, a four-year-old elephant seen in the video clip circulated online last week being assaulted by his two teenage mahouts, lies on the ground as local authorities and wildlife officials observe the animal’s behaviour and physical condition yesterday at his owner’s home in Surin’s Chumphon Buri district.

He took the officials and local media to observe the elephant's behaviour and check its physical condition.

Initial examinations found no traces of injury to the animal's body.

The two teen mahout assistants, aged 15 and 19, seen in the video clip, had apologised for the incident.

They said they brought the elephant to sell sugarcane on the street in Muang district Ubon Ratchathani where they walked for about 500m.

The pair insisted they did not use hooks to attack Rung-arun, but only held the animal's trunk to make it move on out of fear the elephant could be hit by cars.

A rite is performed to ask forgiveness for the incident.

Mr Sarayuth, along with mahouts, local officers and other villagers, then performed a rite to ask for forgiveness for the incident.

Adapted from a story by Nopparat Kingkaew in today's Bangkok Post.

Vocabulary:

abuse: to use cruel, violent or unfair treatment, especially of someone/something who does not have the power to prevent it - ข่มเหง, ปฏิบัติไม่ดีต่อ

abusive: involving violence - ซึ่งเป็นอันตราย, ทารุณ

admit: to agree that something is true, especially when you are unhappy, sorry or surprised about it - ยอมรับ

apologise: to say you are sorry for doing something wrong or for causing a problem - ขอโทษ

appear: to seem - ดูเหมือนจะ, ดูเหมือนว่า

assaulted: attacked by someone violently - ถูกทำร้ายร่างกาย

authority: a person or government agency who has the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ

behaviour: the way that someone acts or behaves - พฤติกรรม, การกระทำตัว

circulate: to send to many different people - หมุนเวียน

claim: to say that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it - อ้าง

collapse: to fall down suddenly - พังลงมา  ล้ม, พังครืน

condition: the physical state of a person or animal, especially how healthy they are - อาการ, สุขภาพ

cruel: deliberately causing pain to other people or animals - ป่าเถื่อน  โหดร้าย

deal with: to take action to solve a problem - รับมือกับ, จัดการกับ

deny: to say that something is not true - ปฏิเสธ

exhaustion: the state of being very tired - ความเหนื่อยอ่อน, ความอ่อนเพลีย, การหมดแรง

female: being a woman or a girl - สตรี, ผู้หญิง, เพศหญิ

forgiveness: the act of forgiving somebody; willingness to forgive somebody - การให้อภัย, การอภัยโทษ

hook: a curved piece of metal or plastic fixed to a pole or with a handle at the other end, used for catching hold of something - ตะขอ

incident: something that happens, usually something bad - เหตุการณ์

initial: early; first - เบื้องต้น

injury: physical damage done to a person or a part of their body - อาการบาดเจ็บ

insist: to keep saying very firmly that something is true - ยืนกราน ยืนยัน

involved: taking part or having a role in something - เกี่ยวข้อง

local: in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about - ท้องถิ่น

mahout: someone who trains and drives elephants - ควาญช้าง, คนเลี้ยงช้าง

observe: to watch or study someone or something with care - สังเกตการณ์

refuse: to say or show that you will not do something that someone has asked you to do - ปฏิเสธ

rite: a traditional ceremony, especially a religious one - พิธีกรรม (พระราชพิธี)

teenager: a person who is between the ages of 13-19 - บุคคลที่มีอายุระหว่าง 13-19 ปี, คนรุ่นหนุ่มรุ่นสาว, วัยรุ่น

trace: a mark, an object or a sign that shows that somebody/something existed or was present - ร่องรอย

treatment: a way of behaving towards or dealing with a person or thing - การปฏิบัติ

trunk: the very long nose of an elephant that it uses to lift food and water to its mouth -

wildlife: animals, birds, insects, etc. that are wild and live in a natural environment - สัตว์ป่า

Related search: Baby elephant attack, teenage mahouts, Surin

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