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Kuiburi wild elephant found dead in national park; abdominal infection suspected.

A three-ton Kuiburi wild male elephant was found lying dead in the Kui Buri National Park area. With further investigations, shotgun ammunition and a bullet were found.

On February 28, 2022, Mr. Pichai Watcharawongpaiboon Director of Conservation Area Administration Office 3 (Sorbor. 3) Phetchaburi Branch received a report from Ms. Suporn Phonphan, head of Kuiburi National Park that the villagers had found a wild elephant lying dead at 47 P 0575731 E 1325946 N Ban Kedka Village No. 12, Bo Nok Subdistrict, Mueang Prachuap District, together with Mr. Suwan Wongnarat, forest guard, Head of the National Park Protection Unit at Kor. 3, Mr. Chamorn Sakdinan, a specialist veterinarian Forensic officer in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, WWF Thailand Wildlife Conservation Officers, investigators at Ao Noi Police Station, and Prachuap Provincial Livestock Office Veterinarians examined a male wild elephant with full tusks, aged 15-20, weighing about 3 tons, lying dead in an elevated condition, sluggish, full of worms and flies swarming with foul odors all around near the creek. Within the degraded forest in the Kui Buri National Park area, adjacent to the farming area of ​​the people in the Hub Phueng area, it is estimated to have been dead for at least 5 days.

The officer then used a metal detector to scan the elephant’s body, finding a suspicious object above the base of the tail before allowing the veterinarians to dissect it and found a shotgun ammunition, size 12, at the hip next to the base of the tail up above of approximately 50 centimeters, a bullet in the muscle layer about 10 centimeters deep from the skin; all were kept as evidence. Before abdominal dissection, inflammation and pustules were found in the abdominal cavity, especially the area adjacent to the lumbar spine that stretches to the right pelvic area. and found tearing of the abdominal wall in the abdomen and pelvic area The veterinary team initially assumed that the cause of death of the wild elephant was due to inflammation and infection of the abdominal cavity (peritonitis) before taking a sample of stomach food scraps to a laboratory to determine the exact cause again. Then, the elephant body was put under the ground by using a backhoe, sprayed with a disinfectant, and sprinkled with lime around the spot according to academic principles. After that, evidence was reported to find the person who shot the elephant to be prosecuted by the law.

According to WWF, about 2,500 elephants are estimated to be left in wild in Thailand. The long-term survival of the wild Asian elephant populations in Thailand is also under severe threat due to poaching for ivory and elephant calves, as well as habitat loss. 

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