Rangers search for wounded bull elephant

Rangers search for wounded bull elephant

Rangers from Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary in Chachoengsao province are searching for a 20-year-old bull elephant which was shot by villagers, and believed seriously wounded, on Nov 10.

The elephant, Plai Nusing, was shot by villagers defending a sugarcane plantation in tambon Thung Phaya, Sanam Chai Khet district. 

The search was being led by Veerapong Korawat, chief of the sanctuary, which is under the jurisdiction of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.

On Monday, they went to the sugarcane plantation. The elephant had last been seen lying near there, apparently seriously wounded.

But the elephant had gone.

The searchers flew a drone over the area, and a wounded Plai Nusing was spotted in a herd heading into the forest.

A veterinarian accompanying the searchers, Sunita Wingwon, said pictures taken by the drone showed shotgun wounds on Plai Nusing's back, side of his neck, ears, both front legs and upper part of his trunk.

The elephant had covered the wound to the middle of his back with mud, to help heal it heal, she said.

Ms Sunita said the wounds would likely become seriously inflamed over the next few days, especially the one in the middle of his back. The elephant needed medical treatment, or it could die, she said.

"I hope we can find it soon so that it can be treated. It would be very sad if it died in the forest untreated," she said.

Tambon Thung Phaya has many oil palm, sugarcane and eucalyptus plantations, which prove attractive to the 100 or so elephants in the adjoining wildlife sanctuary. 

The elephants sometimes raid the plantations, eating and destroying the crops. Plai Nung has often been seen among them. 

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