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Dead elephant a female, report indicates

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An elephant found beheaded near a reservoir in Kaeng Krachan district was pregnant and was not killed for its tusks, officials said yesterday.

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Authorities originally thought this was a male elephant killed for its ivory, but were surprised to find Wednesday it was a pregnant cow elephant, possibly killed by local farmers. CHAIWAT SATYAEM


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Ivory ruled out as motive for elephant slaying, beheading

Chaiwat Satyaem
Apinya Wipatayotin

PHETCHABURI : An elephant found beheaded near a reservoir in Kaeng Krachan district was pregnant and was not killed for its tusks, officials said yesterday.

The autopsy report rejected an initial assumption that the beast had been slaughtered for its ivory, as female Asian elephants do not have tusks.

An inspection of the elephant's womb found the carcass of a calf. Its gender and age were not confirmed, however, and are pending further DNA tests, Theerapat Prayurasiddhi, deputy chief of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, said.

The dead elephant was spotted on Tuesday by villagers as they were fishing at Ban Krarang reservoir.

Experts who inspected its body found two .22 calibre magnum bullets in its stomach and head, and seven shotgun shells and one of buckshot nearby.

The reason for the killing is not clear, Mr Theerapat said.

Manophat Huamuangkaew, the head of the parks department, said yesterday he would set up a panel to quiz Kaeng Krachan National Park chief Chaiwat Limlikit-aksorn about whether he had been remiss in his duty to protect the wild elephants there.

"Society is going to raise questions about several elephant deaths in the national park. We must provide the public with the facts," he said.

He said the elephant might have been killed by villagers unhappy at it eating their crops, or the killing might have been a deliberate attempt to undermine national park officials.

On March 8, the carcass of a female elephant, aged about 7-10 years old, was also found near the reservoir.

Mr Chaiwat said yesterday there are about 250 wild elephants left in the park. The population has not increased for several years, which can be attributed to a lack of staff and funds needed to protect the animals, he said. Just 80 officers oversee the nearly 2-million-rai Kaeng Krachan National Park.

Meanwhile, Damrong Pidech, former department chief, said he is confident the elephant killings are intended to discredit Mr Chaiwat, who has been in conflict with local police, Karen groups living in the park and other figures following his efforts to prevent poaching.

authorities – people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
originally – at first ในเบื้องต้น
male – belonging to the sex that does not give birth to babies; connected with this sex  ตัวผู้, เพศผู้, ผู้ชาย
ivory – the yellowish-white bone that an elephant’s tusks are made of สีงาช้าง
pregnant – having a baby developing inside the body ท้อง ตั้งครรภ์
local – in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about  ท้องถิ่น
slaying – a killing; a murder การสังหาร,  ฆาตกรรม
behead – decapitate; to cut the head off  ตัดศีรษะ
reservoir – a natural or artificial lake where water is stored อ่างเก็บน้ำ
tusk – either of the two long pointed teeth which stick out from the mouth of some animals such as elephants งาช้าง
autopsy – a medical examination of a dead person’s body to find out why they died การชันสูตรศพ
reject – to not agree with ปฏิเสธ ไม่ยอมรับ
initial – early; first  เบื้องต้น
assumption – something that you consider likely to be true even though you have no proof ข้อสันนิษฐาน
beast – an animal, especially a large or wild one  สัตว์ใหญ่ สัตว์ป่า
slaughter – to kill, especially an animal, usually for their meat ฆ่าสัตว์, ฆ่าสัตว์เพื่อเป็นอาหาร
female – of the sex that can lay eggs or give birth to babies, being a woman or a girl ตัวเมีย, เพศหญิง, ผู้หญิง
inspection – the act of looking closely at something or someone and to check that everything is as it should be; examination การตรวจสอบอย่างละเอียด
womb – the organ in women and female animals in which babies develop before they are born มดลูก
carcass – the body of a dead animal ซาก
calf – a young cow or, in this case, a young elephant  ลูกวัว, ลูกช้าง
gender – the fact of being either male or female เพศ
pending – waiting to be dealt with, settled or completed ยังค้างอยู่, ซึ่งยังไม่จบสิ้น, อยู่ในระหว่าง
deputy – a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง
wildlife – animals, birds, insects, etc. that are wild and live in a natural environment สัตว์ป่า
conservation – the protection of plants and animals, natural areas, and interesting and important structures and buildings, especially from the damaging effects of human activity การอนุรักษ์ธรรมชาติ, การป้องกันความสูญเสีย, การสงวนไว้
spot – to see or notice สังเกตเห็น
bullet – a small, metal object that is shot from a gun  กระสุนปืน
shell – a weapon consisting of a metal container filled with a substance that explodes, fired from a gun กระสุน
buckshot – small metal balls that are fired from a gun  กระสุนหัวตะกั่วสำหรับล่าสัตว์
panel – a group of people who make decisions or judgments คณะกรรมการ
remiss – careless about doing what you need to do สะเพร่า, ไม่ระมัดระวัง
duty – something that you have to do because it is part of your job, or something that you feel is the right thing to do หน้าที่, ความรับผิดชอบ
the public – people in general ประชาชน, สาธารณชน, มหาชน
crop – a plant grown for food, usually on a farm  พืชผล
deliberate – done intentionally; done on purpose จงใจ ตั้งใจ
undermine – to make someone become gradually less effective, confident, or successful บ่อนทำลาย
attribute to – to believe that something is the result of a particular situation, event, or person’s actions ถือว่าเป็นของ
lack – to not have something needed  ขาด
funds – money needed or available to spend on something เงินทุน
oversee – to watch something to see that it happens as it should ตรวจดู
meanwhile – at the same time ในเวลาเดียวกัน
confident – certain; having trust in people, plans, or the future มั่นใจ
intend – to plan to do; to want to happen ตั้งใจให้เกิดขึ้น, วางแผนไว้
discredit – to cause people to stop respecting someone or believing in an idea or person ทำให้สูญเสียความเชื่อถือ,ทำให้เสื่อมเสียชื่อเสียง
conflict – an angry disagreement between people or groups ความขัดแย้ง
figure – someone who is important in some way บุคคลสำคัญ
poach – to illegally catch or kill an animal, bird, or fish on someone else’s property รุกล้ำ, บุกรุกล่าสัตว์หรือจับปลา

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