Two American tourists and a mahout have sustained injuries after they fell from an elephant at an elephant village in Pattaya this afternoon (September 5th).
Emergency responders were notified of the incident at 2:30 P.M. at an elephant village in Pattaya.
They arrived at the scene to find Mrs. Alice C, 71, and Mrs. Virginia S, 85 both American. Their last names were withheld at the request of their privacy. They were found on the ground. Nearby rescue workers found the mahout (elephant trainer) Mr. Chamlueang Oboun, 73. All three had suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Staffers at the elephant village told The Pattaya News that the two tourists were on a 70-year-old male elephant named ‘Somjit’ with the mahout. They had just finished a nature-riding tour before they were about to come down from the elephant at the tourist station/port for the nature rides.
There was another 63-year-old male elephant named ‘Boonsri’ that stopped near Somjit to lead other tourists to come down too at the same time, according to staff. However, both elephants collided during the disembarkment process before Somjit lost his balance which caused the tourists and mahout to fall down too. The elephants were not injured.
The incident drew huge discussion on social media, especially on English language social media where elephant riding is seen as polarizing and divisive to many, with many commenters expressing diverse viewpoints.