Village headman killed by wild elephant

Village headman killed by wild elephant

A wild elephant and calf cross a track through the forest, part of the herd that raided an oil palm plantation in Tha Chana district, Surat Thani, on Sunday. A village chief was killed trying to chase them away. (Photo supplied)
A wild elephant and calf cross a track through the forest, part of the herd that raided an oil palm plantation in Tha Chana district, Surat Thani, on Sunday. A village chief was killed trying to chase them away. (Photo supplied)

SURAT THANI: A phuyaiban, or village chief, died from his injuries after being attacked by a wild elephant in Tha Chana district on Sunday, police in this southern province said.

The attack left Samnao Kraiket, head of Moo 11 village in tambon Khlong Pha, with a crushed rib cage and broken hip and head injuries. He died on the way to hospital.

Police called to the village said they were told a herd of 9-11 wild elephants had entered an oil palm plantation at Thap Saming Khla, the Moo 11 village, and begun feeding, stripping the trees.

Samnao led a team from four villages, all volunteers, who attempted to push the elephants away from their crops and back into the forest. During the operation he was attacked by a cow elephant with a calf.

The volunteers managed to chase the elephants back into the forest, but lost their leader. Samnao suffered grievous injuries and died on the way to Tha Chana Hospital.

Villagers said wild elephants frequently raid crops in tambon Khlong Pha and tambon Prasong areas of Tha Chana district. Many people had been killed or injured by them over the years.

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