Sanctuary worker stomped to death by wild elephants

Sanctuary worker stomped to death by wild elephants

Three jumbos often seen eating wild fruit in Chaiyaphum forest where attack took place

Officials inspect the body of a 55-year-old employee of Phu Khieo wildlife sanctuary who was stomped to death by an unknown number of wild elephants near his living quarters in Khon San district of Chaiyaphum. (Photo: Makkawan Wannakul)
Officials inspect the body of a 55-year-old employee of Phu Khieo wildlife sanctuary who was stomped to death by an unknown number of wild elephants near his living quarters in Khon San district of Chaiyaphum. (Photo: Makkawan Wannakul)

CHAIYAPHUM: A wildlife sanctuary employee was stomped to death by wild elephants while going to work at a guard post in Khon San district late Friday night.

The body of Sangwian Phimdee, 55, who worked at the Phu Khieo wildlife sanctuary, was found in a pool of blood behind his living quarters at the Pang Muang forest protection unit on Saturday morning, said Pol Lt Col Piyapong Ounsilp, investigation chief at the Huay Yang police station in Khon San district.

Both his legs had been broken. Elephant footprints and other traces of an attack were found in the area, about 80 metres away from his living quarters and 200 metres from the guard post where he worked the night shift.

Other employees staying in the living quarters told police that they heard the sound of wild elephants coming to eat jackfruit and wild mangoes nearby at around 8.30pm on Friday.

Three wild elephants, aged 30, 20 and 15, often came to the area at night, they said. There had been no incidents of elephant attacks before.

Sangwian left his room around 9pm to go to the guard post when he encountered the elephants. It was raining at the time when they heard the sound of elephants, said his colleagues.

An employee found the body of Sangwian around 5.20am on Saturday and called others to check on him, but he had already died.

Police believed the victim might not have noticed the elephants eating fruit when he walked near them. His presence might have startled the animals, leading them to attack him.


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