AYUTTHAYA – Three Japanese tourists and a mahout were injured when a young bull elephant giving rides at a tourist attraction in Muang district tried suddenly to mate with a female on Tuesday.
The two terrified women passengers, and the mahout, fell from the animal’s back to ground. A third tourist, who was taking photos nearby, was also injured.
The two Japanse were riding on a 20-year-old male elephant, known as Doraemon, with mahout Chainarong Phorkaew at the Ayothaya Elephant Village when the incident occurred around 11am.
Doraemon’s behaviour changed when it saw a young cow elephant, known as Wassana, walking nearby. He lunged quickly toward her and tried to mount her. She rejected his advances.
The male elephant then charged into the female, causing the two women and the mahout to tumble to the ground. A Japanese man who was taking photos nearby was also knocked to the ground.
The three tourists suffered bruising to their bodies, and the mahout a broken leg. All were taken quickly to a hospital and later discharged.
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya district chief Somsak Charoenpaithoon led a team of livestock officials and police to the scene.
Mahouts said Doraemon is not a vicious elephant and was not in rut when the incident occurred. However, he is very flirtatious and often approaches female elephants and attempts to mate with them. The young cow elephant, Wassana, is a newcomer at the kraal.