Drought puts gaurs at risk on roads

Drought puts gaurs at risk on roads

Residents of Khao Yai National Park have been asked to help in a campaign to prevent road accidents involving gaurs, forced out of the forest onto roads in search of water due to the drought.

Environmental advocate Chokdi Porakanon said a special operation team will be needed to keep the gaurs out of danger.

A 20-year-old male gaur was killed by a car late on Sunday as it crossed the road that divides the Khao Yai and Thap Lan national parks. The following day, a 30-year-old male gaur was hit by another car and injured on the same road.

The accidents occurred on a section of Road No 304 in Prachin Buri which cuts through a forest near Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex in the east, which is on the UN list of World Heritage sites.

The injured gaur was rescued by a team of veterinarians and once it had made a full recovery it was released back into the forest, said Phattharaphon Manion, a veterinarian of the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department.

Mr Chokdi, who initiated the campaign, said residents can help by campaigning for a reduction on the speed limit on the roads in the park areas. Asking for public support on his Facebook page, he wrote: "This is better than having one agency do the job alone".

Officials said residents have spotted more gaurs emerging from Khao Yai National Park after the Sap Bon creek dried up because of the drought. The creek is being dredged so more water can be collected from rainfall expected in the days ahead. 

The animals were spotted crossing the road to get to a water source at Thap Lan National Park on the opposite side, wildlife officials said.

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