BANGKOK – Wild elephants from Thailand’s Khao Yai National Park have invaded a village in Nakhon Ratchasima in northeastern Thailand on Saturday night, destroying houses and Rubber tree plantations.
Two wild elephants from the Khao Yai National Park invaded a village in Wang Nam Khieo district on Saturday night crushing houses, destroy peoples belongings and trampled on coconut, mango, banana and other trees on plantations.
Villagers made loud noises in an attempt to scare them away, but to no avail.
Pongthep Malasing, of Wang Nam Khieo district, said Villages have been frequently been attacked by elephants and Asiatic black bears as it is located on the backdoor of the Khao Yai National Park.
He said the attacks usually occur from after dusk, prompting the villagers to have set up teams for a night watch.
In June of last year Nakhon Ratchasima Environment officials joined forces with soldiers in reclaiming four million rai of encroached forest land which businessmen have illegally turned into rubber plantations.
Nakhon Ratchasima has been one of the Northeast’s biggest casualties of forest encroachment. In this region alone, 400,000 rai of forest has been lost to the unlawful expansion of rubber plantations.
According to a source at the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, there are about 300 wild elephants living in Khao Yai National Park, Salakpra Wildlife Sanctuary and Kuiburi National Park, while another 300 elephants live in Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary. Including those numbers, about 2,000 elephants in total live in forests nationwide.
By Geoff Thomas