Thailand: Elephant rips handler in half after ‘going crazy’ – report – Insider
- A male elephant ripped its handler in half after goring him with its tusks, Thai police said, per MailOnline.
- The elephant went “crazy” after being made to haul wood in the summer heat for four days, police said.
- Elephants are still being used to carry logs in parts of Thailand despite a 1989 ban on the practice.
A male elephant ripped its handler in half after it was made to haul wood during hot weather, Thai police said, per MailOnline.
The 20-year-old elephant, called Pom Pam, stabbed Supachai Wongfaed, 33, with its tusks several times last Wednesday, MailOnline reported.
Pom Pam then tore Wongfaed in half, leaving a pool of blood, according to police, MailOnline said.
Police said the elephant was “going crazy” after being made to haul wood from a rubber plantation in Phang-nga, southern Thailand, for four days, per the media outlet. Temperatures reached 89.5° degrees Fahrenheit on the day of the attack.
“The elephant was aggressive when we found it,” said Takua Thung Police Lieutenant Colonel Sorasak Chandee, according to MailOnline. “We suspect it was irritable and attacked its caretaker,” Chandee added.
Volunteers and livestock officers located Pom Pam about 500 yards away from Wongfaed’s body after the attack. They then shot the elephant with a sedative dart and arranged for transport to a rehabilitation facility, MailOnine reported.
Last month an elephant attacked its handler at another rubber plantation in Chawang District, also in southern Thailand, after being made to carry heavy logs, according to the Bangkok Post.
Asian elephants, an endangered species, weigh between 6,000 and 12,000 pounds. They are still being used to carry logs in parts of Thailand despite the practice being banned in 1989.
Elephants were sold into the illicit logging industry during the COVID-19 pandemic because a significant decrease in tourism made feeding the captive animals unaffordable, BBC News reported.