Two adult elephants were found dead, believed electrocuted, near a durian plantation within the Tai Rom Yen National Park in the Kanchanadit district of the southern province of Surat Thani.
Wire was found entangled around the bodies of the two wild elephants, a female about 25 years old and a bull, about 40 years old. Burn marks were found on their trunks.
The owner of the durian plantation in Ban Kong Tor, Khlong Sa sub-district, who alerted the village head yesterday (Thursday) about the deaths, told park officials that he decided to switch on the electricity connected to the fence to protect his durian trees on Wednesday night, after he learned that four elephants had ventured out of the national park to forage for food in the village.
He said that, at about 11pm on Wednesday, he heard the loud cries of elephants, but did not dare to go out of his house to investigate. At about 6am on Thursday, he left home to tap rubber latex and found two dead elephants near his durian plantation.
Officials and veterinarians from the national park were dispatched to the scene to examine the two animals and found their bodies entangled in electric fence wire.
Pornchai Sitthikaset, director of Protected Area Office 4, said that installing electric fences against wild animals is a serious offence, adding that legal action will be taken against the plantation owner.
He also asked villagers not to harm elephants when they see them in their village, but to alert park officials, so they can deal with the animals in a proper manner.