Thailand: a man killed by an elephant on the beach

One man was killed by an elephant while dining on a beach in Thailand, according to police on Wednesday, reviving the debate over the use for commercial purposes of elephants in the country, where they are often used as tourist attractions.

The victim, a Thai 28 years working for a local telecommunications company, dined Monday night with a colleague in one of the many restaurants of Rayong Beach, on the east coast of Thailand, said police Lieutenant Thawat Nongsingha.

“They were talking with the owner of the elephant the ability to offer food to the animal, when the latter suddenly pierced the chest of one of the men suddenly Defence” also wounding his colleague, said the police official. The man died Tuesday in a hospital.

Thailand has around 4,000 domesticated elephants, against 2,500 in the wild, according to Traffick animal rights NGOs. They are most often used for rides on the backs of elephants, offered to tourists in tourist places like the ruins of Ayutthaya, north of Bangkok.

Many centers of elephants across the country also offer this attraction criticized by animal advocates. Traditionally exploited by man for transporting tree trunks, elephants kingdom gathered en masse in the tourism industry after the ban on their use in the forest industry in 1989.

Since then, the sector has been regulated in part, with a ban on elephants in cities, but some continue to use their mahouts elephants begging in public places. The mahout of Rayong drama has admitted that he went to the beach to “make a living”, police said, without being able to tell whether he proposed walks or begging. He was released, with his elephant, police said, but was placed under investigation for “negligence causing death”, punishable by ten years in prison.

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