PETCHABURI – Park Rangers in Thailand’s Krachan National Park have found the body of an American tourist who was apparently trampled to death by elephants in the reserve outside Bangkok.
The 20 year old US woman went missing after leaving a camping ground in Kaeng Krachan National Park, the country’s largest, last week.
Police Col. Woradet Suanklaai said seventy people were involved in a five day search for her and when her body was recovered, the severity of the injuries indicated she was likely trampled to death.
“Her arms, her wrists and other parts of the body were broken, so we assumed she was trampled by elephants because no humans could have caused such powerful damage to the body,” said police Colonel Woradet Suanklaai.
“Looking at the pictures she took in her camera, we see a lot of animals, birds, snakes, lizards,” he said.
“We assumed she wanted to take pictures of elephants because that’s what the Kaeng Krachan National Park is famous for.”
Police sent the body to a forensic institute in the capital to determine the cause of death, he said.
The US Embassy in Bangkok confirmed the death, but gave no details.
Kaeng Krachan is the largest national park in Thailand, covering nearly 3000sq km of forest. It is 200km southwest of Bangkok
Deaths from elephants are rare in Thailand, especially if the cause is wild elephants. One death has been recorded in recent years in Phang Nga, north of Phuket, when a male trekking elephant went on a rampage.
Male elephants go into ”musth” each month and can be dangerous, which is why the vast majority of trekking elephants in Thailand are female.