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Man Lost for 21 Days Says He was Hunted by Wild Elephants

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Man Lost for 21 Days Says He was Hunted by Wild Elephants

After being lost for 21 days and fleeing attacks from wild Asian elephants, a missing man has emerged exhausted and starving from a forest in central Thailand.

On Wednesday, Mr Thongsa Wanthumma, 43, returned to his home at his village in Ban Wang Thong, tambon Wang Tha Chang, Kabin Buri district in Prachin Buri.

He appeared completely worn out and was using a crutch because his legs were weak after having lived on leaves for weeks and escaping from a herd of Asian elephants that he said was hunting him.

According to his mother, Mr Thongsa went missing on Dec 22. A week later, police found his motorcycle abandoned in a rubber plantation. The rubber plantation was roughly 10 kilometres from his timber-chopping job on a eucalyptus plantation and eight kilometres from his home.

Mr Thongsa said on Wednesday he encountered a herd of wild elephants on the way home on his motorcycle on Dec 22 while riding through a rubber plantation on his way home.

In a panic, he abandoned his motorcycle and fled into the rubber plantation.

Read: Couple Camping at Wildlife Sanctuary Attacked by Wild Elephants

Later, he was unable to find his way out. The plantations were spread over an area of more than 20,000 rai. Throughout his stay in this area, he found himself constantly trying to avoid the wild Asian elephants while trying to find his way back home.

He said every day he encountered wild elephants and felt like they were hunting him. The elephants allegedly came out of Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary in search of food.

Mr Thongsa said, “There was no food on the plantations. I survived by eating sour leaves, drinking from irrigation canals, and sleeping on leaves that I gathered to keep warm at night.

The entire time he was lost, he said, he prayed for a blessing from his parents and holy spirits so that he could find his way safely out.

After nearly two weeks in the plantations, Mr Thongsa emerged on Tuesday. He said he met a neighbour and got a ride to a relative’s house.

According to one of his neighbours, they found the remains of two people apparently killed by wild Asian elephants when searching for him.

She said the victims’ clothes were a mess, and the bodies were mutilated and covered with leaves and soil, which wild elephants do after killing humans.

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