Hunt on for bikers who damaged Krabi cave

Hunt on for bikers who damaged Krabi cave

KRABI: Local authorities are hunting down motocross bikers who trespassed and damaged the historic Toh Luang cave in Ao Luk district on Sunday.

A survey of the cave interior was jointly conducted yesterday by Royal Forestry Department officials and local administrative organisation representatives.

Local residents said they saw a group of motocross bikers from out of town enter the cave and raced on an obstacle course around the stalagmites.

They estimate the bikers sped off about 20 minutes later.

The survey found some stalagmites and stalactites were damaged.

Tyre marks were also visible on ancient paintings on the cave wall.

The Toh Luang cave was declared a significant ancient site by the Fine Arts Department (FAD) on Sept 16, 2016.

The authorities are working to identify the race participants and organisers of the event, who are believed to include local politicians.

Wirat Yupensuk, chief of the Plai Phraya forest protection unit, and Bancha Thanu-in, the Ao Luk district chief, were among the officials who surveyed the damage to the cave complex consisting of three levels.

Signs were left indicating the race took place on the first and second levels.

Royal Forest Department director-general Adisorn Nuchadamrong said the offenders would face charges if they caused damage or destruction of forestry resources.

The racing was reportedly captured on a video clip which was shared on social media before being later removed.

The cave has been a location for the shooting of several foreign films.

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