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Police Asked To Look For Couple Who Provoked An Elephant In Khao Yai National Park

Bangkok, Tue Apr 04 2017
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Khao Yai National Park will ask the police to look for a reckless Thai couple who tried to provoke a wild elephant to chase after their car last weekend while driving through the Khao Yai National Park so they could post a video of the incident on social media. The reckless actions of the couple resulted in other vehicles, in the oncoming lanes, having to reverse in fear of their safety.

The incident was shown on video footage posted on a popular Thai-based page on Facebook yesterday. The page criticised the couple’s behaviour as irresponsible, saying it put themselves and other motorists in danger, as well as the elephant. “If you are stomped on by the elephant, don’t come crying,” the page commented.

The male driver is seen shouting to provoke the elephant and is heard saying “how can it (the elephant) be faster than my Camry (Toyota car)”, while his female companion recorded the video clip and tells him to drive on. The footage was then posted on their Facebook page, which is now closed following criticism of their provocation of an animal.

In reaction to the incident, the Khao Yai National Park will ask the police to look for the couple. Mr Kanchit Nopsrisuwan, the park chief, said yesterday that the video clip which was taken by the couple would be shown to the police by his officials when they lodge an official complaint.

He said that yelling and shouting at the elephant in an apparent attempt to provoke the animal compromised the safety of the other tourists.

A veterinarian attached to the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation, Mr Pattharaphol Manee-on, said that the couple in question must be ignorant or clamorous. He further noted that yelling or shouting at the animal could irritate the elephant, resulting in a sudden change of behaviour.

He disclosed that the elephant in question, Yoyo, was easily provoked because of wounds he has sustained from fights with the other elephants. He said an angry elephant could obviously pose a serious threat to people nearby. “Provoking an elephant and then posting the action in the social media is not something to be proud of,” said Mr Pattharaphol.

Elephants and other wildlife in this vast national park, which spans Nakhon Ratchasima and Prachin Buri, have been disturbed by the increasing number of vehicles and tourists using the park’s roads over the past decade.

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