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Bull Elephant Gores and Stomps Mahout to Death at Northern Thailand Elephant Sanctuary

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SUKHOTHAI – A chief elephant mahout at Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary in Sri Satchanalai district of Sukhothai Province in Northern Thailand was stomped and gored to death by a 10 year-old bull elephant.

Pol Capt Anusorn Niamkaew, a duty officer at the Sri Satchanalai police station said that 38 year-old Anont Pimmuen was found lying face down with his neck and legs broken in a corn field near the sanctuary. There were severe bruises along his body. Beneath a tree not far from the body stood Boonchok, 10, a bull elephant with one left tusk.

A police officer questions Katherine Conner about the elephant attack on her husband, Anont Pimmuen, 38.

Anont’s British wife Katherine Conner, 38, founded the elephant sanctuary in 2007. Her husband Anont who was the chief mahout at the centre, which now has 18 elephants.

Anont had raised Boonchok since he was a baby.

Boonchok was fierce and often irritable and only Anont could control the animal, said Katherine.

Before the incident, Anont had taken Boonchok to graze in the fields as usual. The bull might have been irritable  due to the hot weather. Anont was not carrying a hook with him at the time, so he had nothing to control the animal with when it attacked, Katherine said as she tried to control her grief.

Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary (BLES) is located off-the-beaten track in the rural village of Baan Tuek in northern Thailand.

It is situated on over 600 hundred acres of forested land that encourages the elephants to interact in a natural environment.

As an eco-friendly environment aiming toward self-sustainability, BLES has embarked on a program of tree planting. In 2008, BLES planted over 3,000 trees, all of which will enrich the elephants’ lives. Not only does this vegetation providethe elephants with their favorite foods, it also acts as shade to protect the elephants from the heat of the day.

Hand-constructed by local craftsman and mahouts, the BLES living spaces are built of sustainable materials primarily collected from the land. In addition to a main meeting house, gift shop, kitchen, and outdoor-dining pavilion, the three guesthouses are in perfect proximity to take full advantage of the sights and sounds of the elephants.

This unique sanctuary is just that to the elephants— a haven that allows them to simply be. There are no rides, shows, or painting projects — just elephants who have finally been allowed to live with dignity and respect.

BLES is entirely dependent on funds generated by guests to the sanctuary and donations from individuals and other foundations. If you wish to help or donate click here

By Phubes Faites