Kui Buri police arrested and charged a local man for shooting and killing a wild elephant in Kui Buri National Park near Hua Hin in Prachuap Khiri Khan province.
The incident happened on Saturday when the elephant had entered a rubber plantation near the back of the forested area. Park rangers were driving the wild animal back into the forest when they heard a gunshot.
The rangers raced back to the plantation, where they discovered the protected animal lying dead in a ditch. Nearby, a local villager, named as 49-year-old Narong Arapakdi, was holding a shotgun.
Mr. Arapakdi immediately admitted to shooting and killing the elephant but claimed he acted in self-defense because it was very close to him.
Kui police arrived on the scene shortly afterward and detained the local man for questioning. They initially charged him with the illegal possession of a firearm and for killing a protected animal.
The elephant, which was between 15 and 20 years old and weighed between 1.5 and 2 tonnes, was buried near the scene of the shooting.
Rakpong Boonyoi, Chief of Kui Buri National Park, explained that this was not a one-off situation. He said that four wild elephants in the national park had been killed by gunshots or electrocution over the past month.
He continued by saying that despite the best efforts of park officials and local police, there are many clashes between the wild animals and local villagers.
Currently, there are approximately 300 wild elephants and 400 gaurs living in Kui Buri National Park.
Source: Bangkok Post