Park guard trampled by rogue jumbo
Chachoengsao: A 48-year-old wildlife conservation officer has been found trampled to death by a wild elephant at a cassava farm in Sanam Chai district.
The dead man, Manop Karasook, was a government official at Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary.
He was wearing a wildlife conservation uniform and there were signs he had been trampled on as he had several broken ribs and blood clots. His whole body had suffered extensive bruising but no limbs were broken.
A shotgun and motorcycle were found left at the scene.
A local villager was the first witness at the scene at around 6am. Traces of wild elephants damaging and eating cassava roots were found before the body was discovered lying next to the roadside.
Sathien Phuangthaisong, village headman of Tha Kradaan district, said that at around 8pm on Monday, Manop and a 10-member elephant watch surveillance team including himself were in operation to disperse a herd of elephants near the village to prevent them from getting onto the villagers' farmland.
By 10.30pm the elephants had disappeared so the team went home. But in the morning, the body of Manop was found.
Mr Sathien said Manop would normally be the last one to return home. Sometimes, he tied a hammock on a tree to sleep alone while also listening out for elephants.
Mr Sathien said two groups of elephants and a lone jumbo have caused disturbances by eating villagers' crops and vegetation in the area.
The first group consists of 30-40 elephants with the second group having just three. The solitary elephant usually roams around by itself.
The lone elephant is thought to be the one that trampled the officer to death.
Such animals are considered more aggressive as they are more confident when acting alone, he said.
The rogue jumbo usually headed to the area at night to feed, he added.