Wild elephant kills rubber tapper

RAYONG – A Myanmar rubber tapper was trampled to death by a wild elephant early Saturday morning at a plantation in Khao Chamao district.

The deceased was identified only as Yod, 46, had been living in tambon Huay Tabmon in Khao Chamao district. He had an open wound on his head and several elephant footprints that broke his ribs, said Pol Capt Suchet Thepchalee, a case officer at the Khao Chamao police station.

He said an initial investigation showed that Yod and several of his co-workers had gone out before dawn to tap latex at the plantation when they heard the noise of a wild elephant. All of them ran away but they could not find their colleague.

When they shone a flashlight, they saw a large elephant standing next to the body but were afraid to approach and waited until the elephant had left. By that time the rubber tapper had already died.

Pitak Yingyong, chief of Siramun Wildlife Conservation Park, said that about 30 wild elephants had wandered down from the mountain into rubber plantations while workers were tapping latex.

There was also a report that villagers in tambon Khao Noi of Khao Chamao district had seen six wild elephants walking in the yard in front of Ban Khao Cha-ang school on Friday evening but no one was hurt. The elephants later walked back into the forest.

The school has set up a team to monitor the animals' movements to guard against possible incidents.

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