Surat Thani —
Two wild elephants in Surat Thani province were electrocuted to death when they came into contact with an electric fence erected by a durian orchard farmer in the area.
The unfortunate elephants, estimated to be 20 to 25-years-old and another 30 to 35-years-old, were found dead in the Tai Rom Yen National Park in the southern Thailand district of Kanchanadit, Surat Thani, on October 12th at 11 AM.
The local veterinarian team discovered both elephants on a road after receiving a call from nearby residents. The animals were female and male, weighing 3.5 and 2.5 tons respectively. Both of them had wires entangled around their trunks which were connected to a nearby house occupied by a man identified only as Jaroon, 43. Surat Thani police brought him in for questioning.
The Thai durian orchard owner claimed to police that he had set up an electric fence around his orchard to protect it from wild animals but rarely activated it. On the evening of October 11th, at around 6:00 PM, Jaroon said he had turned on the electricity.
Later, at around 11:00 PM on the same day, he heard the loud cries of elephants, but did not dare to leave his house to investigate. It was only at 6:00 AM on October 12th, when he went out to discover two deceased elephants on the road.
According to Mr. Pornchai Sitthikesorn, acting director of the Conservation Area Management Office, the area has been legally granted to Jaroon from the park for agricultural purposes in line with the government’s policy. However, he might still be charged under Wildlife Protection Act for causing harm to the elephants.