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Elephant Stomps Driver to Death in Thailand’s Khao Yai National Park

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NAKHON RATCHASIMA – A man was killed by a wild elephant after his speeding pickup hit the animal near a national park in northeastern Thailand, police said Thursday.

Police Lt. Col. Kemchat Paedkaew said the accident occurred at dusk Wednesday on a small road that has signs telling drivers to beware of wild animals that sometimes stray from Khao Yai National Park.

“Elephants don’t come out during the day but they start coming out when it gets dark,” Kemchat said.

Police inspect the wreckage of the vehicle that hit a wild elephant crossing a road in Khao Yai National Park, in Nakhon Ratchasima, on Wednesday night.

He said the driver was not from the area and failed to slow down when he encountered the elephant. When the vehicle struck the elephant’s back legs, the animal responded by stomping on the car, destroying the engine and killing the driver.

Kemchat says up to two people are killed by elephants each year in areas surrounding the park. The elephant struck in the crash was guided back into the park and is being looked after by officials there, he said.

Meanwhile, Park officials and police were sent to track down the elephant involved in the crash. When found about 9pm it was seen to have injuries to two legs – one front and one hind leg. Bleeding was visible on the hind leg, but the animal could still walk.

They kept a close watch on the animal overnight. Veterinarians were expected to arrive there on Thursday morning and would assess the animal’s condition and provide treatment if needed.

Source: The Associated Press, Bangkok Post