Unmanned plane to help in jumbo hunt

Officials will install 20 cameras and use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to locate a pachyderm which officials believe might be a baby white elephant.

A forestry official launches a remote-controlled plane equipped with a camera. Officials are sending the planes to fly over a reservoir in the Kaeng Krachan National Park in Phetchaburi to search for a suspected white elephant spotted in the area recently. TAWATCHAI KEMGUMNERD

They are undertaking the search in Kaeng Krachan National Park in Phetchaburi province after a photographer had reported seeing one in a herd on April 10.

Apichart Puangnoi spotted the calf from still photos of an elephant herd he took and then reported the sighting to park chief Chaiwat Limlikhit-aksorn.

Mr Chaiwat has sent a unit of forestry guards to track down the elephant calf in a race to keep it safe from possible poachers.

Theerapat Prayurasiddhi, deputy chief of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation said cameras will be installed along elephant trails inside the park to help in the search.

Officials would also send camera-mounted UAVs into the forest.

"If it is a white elephant, we will consider how to deal with it," he said.

Under Thai custom, a white elephant is considered a sacred animal fit only for the king. Earlier, Mr Chaiwat said the elephant is likely to be targeted by poachers now that word of its sighting has spread. A reward of 6 million baht is being offered to hunters who can capture the elephant, he said.

Related search: albino elephant, thailand, wildlife

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Writer: Apinya Wipatayotin
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