According to Thai police, an angry elephant tore its 32-year-old handler in half after “going crazy” when it had to do a significant amount of labor in extremely high temperatures.
The authorities suspect that the animal, which they have given the name Pom Pam, became agitated when it was required to haul rubberwood to a plantation in Phang Nga province while temperatures were spiking.
The 20-year-old elephant used its tusks to stab its handler, Supachai Wongfaed, several times before pulling his body apart.
Wongfaed, the son of the former mayor of the Khok Charoen subdistrict, was discovered in two pieces by local police, the village head, and rescue personnel lying in a pool of blood, according to the reports.
Wongfaed’s body was able to be recovered after officers shot the elephant with a tranquilizer dart.
Death caused by elephants in Thailand are relatively rare but rising, with at least 20 people dying that that way in 2020.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, elephants kill roughly 100 people in India every year, although this number could actually be as high as 300.
Although these wild animals are often friendly, elephants can become hostile—even deadly—if they feel harassed, exposed, or threatened.
Elephants kept in captivity are “torn from their jungle homes to be sold like equipment” and “forced to haul illicit logs or amuse tourists,” according to the animal rights organization PETA.
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