Khao Yai weighs measures to soothe perplexed pachyderms

Khao Yai National Park might limit access to motorists following a series of attacks by agitated elephants.

Reducing park hours is one option under consideration by park officials, along with closing one road to traffic, after several elephants took out their angst on vehicles and a restaurant in recent days.

Nipon Chotiban of the Department of National Parks  the director-general of the department, said that the construction of a new road has split the park in two, forcing wild elephants to cross the road in search of food, particularly from late December into January.

As a precaution to prevent further incidents, Nipon said park workers would be deployed as monitors along a 10-kilometer stretch of the road which cuts into the park.

He insisted that the department has no plan to shut the park but might ban tourists from driving in using the Prachinburi road, or might restrict passing time as currently there are over 300 wild elephants in Khao Yai park, state media reported.

Still under consideration is a proposal to change limiting road access from the current 6am to 9pm hours to 9am to 4pm, according to MCOT.

Nipon said the park never had problems with wild elephants attacking visitors, as they don’t normally display aggressive habits.

He blamed this month’s incidents in which elephants trampled several vehicles on the road’s heavy traffic, which passes near areas wandered by the elephants.

Too much traffic might disturb wild elephants, he said, and added this might also coincide with wild elephants’ mating season. Visitors disobeying park rules might also cause stress and provoke the elephants to attack, he added.


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