Patrol teams keep close watch on herd of wild elephants

Patrol teams keep close watch on herd of wild elephants

A wild elephant is spotted along the Kwai Noi River in Thong Pha Phum district, Kanchanaburi. (Photo supplied via Piyarat Chongcharoen)
A wild elephant is spotted along the Kwai Noi River in Thong Pha Phum district, Kanchanaburi. (Photo supplied via Piyarat Chongcharoen)

KANCHANABURI: Patrol teams have been set up to keep a close watch on the movement of a herd of wild elephants crossing the Kwai Noi River to forage for food on farms in Thong Pha Phum district while motorists using Highway 323 are warned to watch out for the pachyderms on the road.

Combined teams of Thong Pha Phum National Park officials, police and local residents, numbering more than 40, conducted patrols on Highway 323 along Kanchanaburi-Thong Pha Phum route in tambon Tha Khanun to alert motorists using the road to watch out for wild elephants crossing the road.

Arthit Somboon, assistant village chief of Ban Ong-ti village, said a herd of more than 20 wild elephants was spotted walking across the Kwai Noi River on Tuesday evening to forage for food on farms in tambon Tha Khanun.

The herd, made up with bull and female elephants and babies, was led by Chao Nga and Chao Happy, said Mr Arthit. The two jumbos led the herd to eat bananas, coconuts and cassava grown by local residents. More than 20 rai of farmlands had been destroyed.

Local residents were gripped by fear as the elephants emerged from the jungle to raid farmland. Some residents did not go to their rubber plantations to tap rubber latex for fear of possible elephant attacks, said a source.

The local people called on authorities to seriously address the problem by pushing wild elephants into the forests. There were about 20-30 baby elephants born a year. Now, the population of elephants in Thong Pha Phum district rose to over 300, added the source.

National park officials, police and local residents conduct night patrol along Highway 323 on Kanchanaburi-Thong Pha Phum route in Kanchanaburi province on Wednesday night to alert motorists using the road. (Photo supplied via Piyarat Chongcharoen)

An elephant raids banana trees in Thong Pha Phum on Wednesday night. (Photo supplied via Piyarat Chongcharoen)


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