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PM orders speedy elephant death probe

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Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has told police and wildlife authorities to speed up an investigation into elephant poaching in Kaeng Krachan National Park in Phetchaburi province. 

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This screen grab from Channel 9 MCOT shows wildlife rangers trying to help an elephant which was wounded in the same incident where the mother elephant was killed.

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PM orders speedy elephant death probe

Yingluck wants harsher wildlife crime penalties

Post Reporters

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has told police and wildlife authorities to speed up an investigation into elephant poaching in Kaeng Krachan National Park in Phetchaburi province.

The premier has also proposed amending wildlife laws to increase penalties for poachers and traffickers after a female elephant, aged 7-10 years, was found dead near a creek in the park last Friday.

The elephant sustained several wounds, including four suspected bullet holes. Wildlife officials suspect poachers took away the elephant's calf.

The incident took place as Thailand was hosting an international conference on wildlife protection attended by 2,000 delegates from 170 countries. The 16th meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora began in Bangkok on March 3 and ended Thursday.

During a trip to Phetchaburi to inspect water development projects, Ms Yingluck said: "I have instructed authorities to speed up investigation into the case and bring the culprits to justice as soon as possible to prevent them from committing more crimes."

She said penalties for wildlife crime are too lenient and she would like laws to be amended to make them harsher. However, as a legal amendment would take time, she said officers should strictly enforce existing wildlife laws in the meantime.

She said the government is working on overhauling its domestic elephant identification system to prevent illegal traders from slipping ivory from wild elephants in with ivory gathered from domestic animals.

Kaeng Krachan chief Chaiwat Limlikhit-aksorn said authorities have sealed off areas around the park where they believed suspected poachers are hiding.

Checkpoints have been set up on roads linking Phetchaburi with Ratchaburi province to prevent the suspects from smuggling the dead elephant's calf out of the country, he said.

Mr Chaiwat said the authorities are close to nabbing the suspects.

screen grab (or screen shot) – a digital image taken from a computer screen
wildlife – animals, birds, insects, etc. that are wild and live in a natural environment สัตว์ป่า
ranger – a person whose job is to take care of a park, a forest or an area of countryside เจ้าหน้าที่ดูแลป่าหรืออุทยาน
wounded – injured, especially where your skin or flesh is damaged, usually seriously บาดเจ็บ
incident – something that happens, usually something bad เหตุการณ์
probe – an investigation การสอบสวน
harsh – strict, severe อย่างรุนแรง
penalty – a punishment, or the usual punishment, for doing something that is against a law โทษ
authorities – people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
investigation – the process of trying to find out all the details or facts about something การสอบสวน
poach – to illegally catch or kill an animal, bird, or fish on someone else’s property รุกล้ำ, บุกรุกล่าสัตว์หรือจับปลา
propose – to suggest an idea for a group to consider เสนอ
amend – to make changes to a document, law, agreement, etc. especially in order to improve it แก้ไข
trafficker – someone in the business of buying and selling  things illegally or of illegally transporting people for work in other countries or areas ผู้ลักลอบค้าสินค้าผิดกฎหมายหรือลักลอบขายแรงงานผิดกฎหมาย
creek – a narrow stream; a very small river  ลำธาร โกรกธารเล็กๆ
sustain – to experience, injury, damage, loss, etc. ประสบกับ (ความสูญเสีย การเจ็บป่วย)
wound – an injury in which your skin or flesh is damaged บาดแผล
suspected – thought to be something เป็นที่สงสัย
bullet – a small, metal object that is shot from a gun  กระสุนปืน
calf – a young cow or, in this case, a young elephant  ลูกวัว, ลูกช้าง
host – to provide the space and other things necessary for a special event ทำหน้าที่เป็นเจ้าภาพ, เป็นผู้จัดรายการ
conference – a large official meeting, usually lasting for a few days, at which people with the same work or interests come together to discuss their views การประชุมร่วม
delegate – a person chosen or elected by a group to speak, vote, etc. for them, especially at a meeting ตัวแทน
convention – an official agreement between countries or leaders สนธิสัญญ, ข้อตกลง
endangered species – a type of animal or plant that may soon become extinct (=disappear from the world) สัตว์ป่าหรือสิ่งมีชีวิตที่ใกล้จะสูญพันธุ์
fauna – all the animals living in an area  สัตว์ประจำเขตภูมิภาคหนึ่ง
flora – the plants of a particular area, type of environment or period of time พืชที่ขึ้นในเฉพาะพื้นที่
inspect – to look at something carefully ตรวจสอบ
instruct – to tell somebody to do something, especially in a formal or official way สั่ง
culprit – someone who has done something wrong ผู้กระทำความผิด
bring to justice – to put someone on trial in a court of law นำตัวมาดำเนินคดีตามกฎหมาย
commit – to do something wrong or illegal ทำความผิด
lenient – not strict; not giving someone as strong a punishment as you could ลงโทษสถานเบา หรือให้ความเมตตา
strictly – demanding that rules, especially rules about behaviour, should be obeyed อย่างเข้มงวด
enforce – to make sure laws are obeyed บังคับให้ใช้,  บังคับให้ทำ, ใช้กำลังบังคับให้ปฏิบัติตาม

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