An arrest order has been issued for wildlife officials to find and remove an unruly wild Asian elephant that has killed one villager and caused extensive damage to crops.
The arrest warrant was signed by Rungnapha Pattanaipul, deputy chief of the National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation Department.
The 25-year-old bull Asian elephant “Sidor Noke” is to be immediately captured and taken back home to Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary by park officials.
In the order released on Wednesday, only Sidor Noke was named as the target, and the park officials were warned to take extreme precautions since the elephant is dangerous.
For months, the 25-year-old bull elephant has been causing trouble in the Kabin Buri district, after he left Khao Ang Rue Nai, a wildlife sanctuary. The sanctuary covers five provinces in east Thailand and is home to many wild Asian elephant herds.
It is not uncommon for elephants to leave the reserve area in search of food. Krabin Buri’s tambon Khao Mai Kaew has been a popular haunt for Sidor Noke.
In addition to damaging several plantations he raided for fruit, he has a reputation for being hot-tempered.
Man Murdered by Asia Elephant
On Feb 24, Sutha Srialai, 73, was killed by the Asian Elephant while collecting wild vegetables and fruit in Ban Khao Mai Kaew, near Ban Khao Mai Kaew.
Villagers have complained about damages to their food and cash crops to the local office of the department of wildlife. Sidor Noke was last seen on Monday night, according to the complainants.
On Sunday, people in other parts of the country celebrated National Elephant Day with fruit banquets. However, villagers in Khao Mai Kaew stayed up all night to protect their crops from the bull elephant’s destructive ways.
While guarding his orchard in the early hours of Monday, Sunthorn Khomkai said, “This elephant has become more aggressive and dangerous. It keeps coming back even when we push it back.”
Wild elephants are a problem the government has ignored and the affected villagers have yet to receive compensation for their plight.
The department reported 686 elephant incursions into agricultural areas in 2020 and has developed an action plan to end conflicts between animals and humans.