Sunday, November 16, 2014

Thailand: Elephant Ride in Phang Nga as Terrified Russian Tourist, 8-Year-Old Daughter Stunned

According to, a rampaging male elephant in the southern province of Phang Nga has reportedly killed his mahout handler and then fled into a forest with a Russian mother and her 8-year-old daughter on its back.

The incident occurred at Puvara Tour elephant camp in Phang Nga which offers elephant rides for visitors in tambon Nop Pring of Muang district on Sunday (November 16) when Sook Submark, 60, was steering 18-year-old Phlai Meow by a canal on a forest tour for the Russian mother and daughter, according to ASTV.  

The large elephant trampled Sook to death and ran into the wilds, carrying the tourists. Sook’s body was found in the canal about 200 meters away from where he was killed.

COMMENT: A rescue team of mahouts, police and livestock officials later located the elephant in a palm oil plantation at an adjacent resort, about three kilometers from where Sook was killed. 

The team advised the tourists to stay calm to avoid provoking the elephant and causing him to run deeper into the woods. They then neutralized the elephant with two anesthetic darts.

Another Puvara mahout, who is also close to Phlai Meow, managed to jump from a slope and landed on his neck. He was able to control him and let the two tourists safely jump down from the elephant’s back.

Puvara manager Waraphorn Kasetkararn said Sook and his family had brought Phlai Meow, one of seven elephants at the camp, to work with her two years ago. The pachyderm was clever and playful and never harmed anyone.

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