Forty-year-old female elephant dies after being struck by lightning in Pattaya

Pattaya, Chonburi –

A forty-year-old female elephant has been pronounced dead after being hit by a lightning strike in Pattaya last night during heavy overnight storms in the area (May 7th).

A mahout (elephant handler), Mr. Somnuek Tueksandod, 46, told The Pattaya News, “I was going to take the female elephant named ‘Boonkrong’, aged 40, back to our elephant camp and sanctuary this morning, Elephant Home, in Nongprue, before I discovered the elephant was tragically dead under a tree.”

“Burns and scarring were found on both of her ankles. I called a specialist elephant veterinarian at the Nern Plubwan Animal Hospital to determine what had happened overnight.” Somnuek stated.

The elephant veterinarian, Padet Sriridamrong, told The Pattaya News, “Last night brought heavy rains for the third night in a row to the Pattaya area. The elephant appears to have been struck by a bolt of lightning while taking cover under a tree from the storm.”

The president of the Pattaya Elephant Village, where the elephant was staying, Mr. Pairat Chaiyakam, told the media, “We are very sad that we have lost Boonkrong. She has been with us for a very long time and was beloved by our staff and visitors.”

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Goong is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for closing in on two years. Specializes primarily in local news for Pattaya and Phuket, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket except when commuting between the two.