Network calls for legislation to solve problem with wild elephants

Network calls for legislation to solve problem with wild elephants

Wild elephants roam in a forest at Kui Buri National Park in Prachuap Khiri Khan province in July 2022. (Photo: Kui Buri National Park)
Wild elephants roam in a forest at Kui Buri National Park in Prachuap Khiri Khan province in July 2022. (Photo: Kui Buri National Park)

A network of people affected by threats from wild elephants filed a complaint with the House of Representatives on Wednesday, saying that the conflict between local people and wild animals has escalated.

The complaint, submitted by 10 representatives of the network, was received by Jet Anukulpokarat, director of the complaint-receiving office of the House of Representatives, acting on behalf of House Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha.

The network said wild elephants from the Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary straddling the provinces of Chachoengsao, Chanthaburi, Chon Buri, Rayong and Prachin Buri have for the past 20 years come out of the forests to forage for food, causing considerable damage to property, plants and crops of farmers.

This conflict has resulted in numerous deaths and injuries to both humans and wild elephants, it said.

The network is urging the House to legislate a law to effectively address the problem.

In the most recent incidents, on Oct 7, a villager was killed in an attack by a wild elephant from the sanctuary while rubber-tapping on his plantation.

On Tuesday, two volunteers in tambon Tha Kradan of Chachoengsao's Sanam Chaikhet district were injured while trying to push wild elephants back into the forest.

On Wednesday, a young male wild elephant, about 5 years old, was found dead in a forest near Moo 12 village in Tha Kradan. Wildlife officers, police and local leaders examined the carcass and found nine bullet wounds. The animal was believed to have been shot with a 9mm shotgun by disgruntled villagers.  

Suwichan Suwannakha, secretary-general of the network, said the locals have also asked the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to draw up a plan to drive the wild elephants back into the wildlife sanctuary and build a blockage to prevent their return, thereby averting further damage to people's property.

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