Wild elephant kills camper in Khao Yai National Park

A file photo of an elephant spotted in Khao Yai National Park. Photo: Khao Yai National Park
A file photo of an elephant spotted in Khao Yai National Park. Photo: Khao Yai National Park

Khao Yai National Park closed two campsites this morning after a tourist was killed by a wild elephant.

The measures came after Prayot Jitboon, a tourist staying at the Pha Kluaymai camping site, died early Friday morning at about 2am when an elephant trampled the site, destroying tents and attacking Prayot, according to Adisak Phusitwongsanuyut, park chief. 

The elephant was believed to be in musth, a seasonal period of heightened aggression when randy bull males experience high levels of testosterone and energy. 

Witnesses said the elephant was aggro when it arrived at the camping site.

The incident prompted officials to close the Pha Kluaymai and Lam Takong indefinitely, as they have seen previous conflict with the wild elephants who call the park home.

Adisak said he ordered the incident investigated and wants the elephant identified so its behavior can be monitored. The Khao Yai chief also said he would field more rangers to ensure tourist safety during the peak season.

Roughly 300 wild elephants are believed to call Khao Yai home. From time to time, human incursion into the popular park brings them into conflict, and several fatalities have occurred involving bulls amped up on musth.

Although a number of national parks have closed due to the pandemic, Khao Yai, Thailand’s oldest, remains operational.

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CITY: BANGKOKCATEGORY: NEWSSUB-CATEGORIES: ANIMALS, ENVIRONMENT

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