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Wild elephant electrocution deaths

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Meditation centre gardener admits killing wild elephants. Current flowing through electric fence to keep wild animals away from crops too high, killing the elephants.

Three wild elephants were electrocuted by an electric fence to protect crops with the voltage set too high.


Meditation centre gardener admits killing wild elephants

Chaiwat Satyaem

A gardener at a meditation centre has confessed to causing the deaths of three wild elephants with his homemade electric fence in Hua Hin district of Prachuap Khiri Khan province on Wednesday.

Pol Col Boontham Wannarat, deputy police commander of Prachuap Khiri Khan, said on Thursday that police armed with an arrest warrant from Hua Hin court apprehended Sompong Yaphakdee, 48, a gardener at the Asom Burapa meditation centre on Wednesday night for questioning.

The man initially denied being responsible for the elephants' deaths, but police found electrical wire and other parts of a fence, and had witnesses, Pol Col Boontham said.

Meditation centre gardener Sompong Yaphakdee, 48, confesses to killing three wild elephants that blundered into his homemade electric fence in Hua Hin district, Prachuap Khiri Khan, on Wednesday. (Photo by Chaiwat Satyaem)

Prachuap Khiri Khan governor Veera Sriwattanatrakul said later the man finally confessed to the crime. He said the deaths of three wild elephants at the same time was a big problem for the province, and in the future the use of electric fences would have to be approved.

Hua Hin district chief Sutthipong Khlai-udom said the current flowing through the electric fences to keep wild animals away from crops had to be reduced with a transformer to prevent killing the animals.

The three elephants were found dead together near a pond in the compound of the meditation centre in Ban Chaloemkiat Pattana village of Huai Sat Yai sub-district, about two kilometres from Kaeng Krachan National Park.

There was a male aged about 10 years with 30 centimetre tusks, a female 6-7 years old, and a female juvenile aged 3-4 years.

There are rubber plantations and other farms in the area, and their herd, comprising about 15 elephants, was often seen feeding in the vicinity.

National park officials who filed a complaint about the death with local police believed the wild elephants died unnaturally.

There were no wounds on the animals and they appeared to have bled from their eyes and mouths. Officials earlier found fence wire, poles and ropes hidden at locations near the scene of elephants' death.

Veterinarians of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation collected samples from the dead elephants for tests to confirm the cause of death. The results are expected in two weeks.


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

appear : to seem - ดูเหมือนจะ, ดูเหมือนว่า

apprehended (verb): caught; arrested; caught by the police - ถูกจับ, โดนจับกุม

approved : given official agreement or permission - ได้รับการรับรองแล้ว

armed : carrying a weapon - ติดอาวุธ

arrest warrant : a document signed by a judge allowing police to arrest someone - หมายจับ

bled : having lost blood, especially from a wound or an injury - เลือดออก

chief : a person with a high rank or the highest rank in a company or an organisation - หัวหน้า, ผู้นำ

collect (verb): to gather together a group/set/amount of things, often of the same sort - สะสม, เก็บรวบรวม

commander : a police offer of high rank - ผู้บังคับบัญชา

complaint : when someone says that something is wrong or not satisfactory - การบ่น, ข้อที่ไม่พอใจ

compound : an area enclosed by a fence or wall, usually in which people work or live - บริเวณ

comprising : consisting of - ประกอบด้วย

confess (verb): to admit that you have committed a crime - สารภาพผิด

confirm (verb): to state or show that something is definitely true or correct, especially by providing evidence - ยืนยัน

court : the place where legal trials take place and where crimes, etc. are judged - ศาล

crop : a plant grown for food, usually on a farm - พืชผล

current : the flow of electricity through a wire, etc - กระแสไฟฟ้า

denied (verb): said that something is not true or did not happen - ปฏิเสธ

deputy : a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation - รอง

district (noun): an area of a country, town or province, especially one that has particular features - เขต, อำเภอ, บริเวณ, แขวง

electric fence : "An electric fence is a barrier that uses electric shocks to deter animals or people from crossing a boundary. The voltage of the shock may have effects ranging from discomfort to death. Most electric fences are used today for agricultural fencing and other forms of animal control" (Source: Wikipedia) - รั้วไฟฟ้า

electrocute : to kill or injure someone with electricity - ฆ่าหรือทำร้ายด้วยกระแสไฟฟ้า

feeding : giving food to animals to eat -

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

fence : a structure made of wood or wire supported with posts that is put between two areas of land as a boundary, or around a garden/yard, field, etc. to keep animals in, or to keep people and animals out - รั้ว

file : to take official action like making a complaint - ยื่น, ยื่นคำร้อง

flow (verb): to move continuously in one direction - ไหล

governor : a person who is chosen to be in charge of the government of a state or province or a government agency - ผู้ว่าการรัฐ, ผู้ว่าราชการจังหวัด

herd : a large group of animals of the same type that live and move about together - ฝูงสัตว์

hidden (adjective): when something was put in a place where people cannot see or find it - ที่ซ่อนไว้

initially : at first - ในเบื้องต้น

juvenile (noun): a young person/animal who is not yet an adult - เยาวชน

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

location : where someone or something is - ที่ตั้ง,ทำเล

meditation : the practice of thinking deeply in silence, especially for religious reasons or in order to make your mind calm - การทำสมาธิ, วิปัสสนา

national park (noun): a park run by the government of a country - สวนสาธารณะแห่งชาติ, อุทยานแห่งชาติ

officials : people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ

plantation (n): a large farm where crops such as tea, coffee, cotton, sugar or trees, are grown - ไร่ นาขนาดใหญ่

pole : a long thin stick, or piece of wood or concrete, often used for holding or supporting something - เสา, หลัก, คาน

pond : a small area of still water, especially one that is artificial - บ่อน้ำ, สระน้ำ

protect : to make sure that somebody/something is not harmed, injured, damaged, etc - ป้องกัน,อารักขา,คุ้มกัน

province : one of many divisions of the government of a country into smaller parts - จังหวัด

question (verb): when the police asks a person questions in the investigation of a crime -

reduce : to make something smaller or less in amount, size, importance etc - ลดลง

responsible for : deserving to be blamed for something that has happened - มีความรับผิดชอบ

rubber (noun): a bouncy, elastic material used in car tires and waterproof gloves - กล้ายาง

sample : a small amount of a substance that is used for scientific or medical tests - ตัวอย่างทดลอง

scene : site; a place where something happens or happened - สถานที่เกิดเหตุ

sub- : a smaller part of a bigger thing or group -

transformer : a piece of equipment that changes the voltage of a flow of electricity - หม้อแปลง

tusk : either of the two long pointed teeth which stick out from the mouth of some animals such as elephants - งาช้าง

veterinarian : a person with a medical degree trained to take care of the health of animals - สัตวแพทย์

vicinity : an area near a particular place - บริเวณใกลเคียง

wild (adj): growing in the forest or other natural place; not planted, grown or raised by humans - ไม่เชื่อง

wire : to connect a building, piece of equipment, etc. to an electricity supply using wires - ต่อสายไฟ, เดินสายไฟ

witness : a person who sees something happen - ผู้ที่เห็นเหตุการณ์

wound : an injury in which your skin or flesh is damaged - บาดแผล


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