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Three wild elephants which were found dead mysteriously near Kaeng Krachan National Park in Prachuap Khiri Khan province today might be killed by electrocution.
This indicated that the one-year-old baby elephant might contact the high-voltage electrical wire with its trunk which villagers always used to fence off wild elephants from entering their orchard or farms.
The trunk tip might have burning trace after contacting the high-voltage wire and the wrongdoer then cut it off to conceal the guilt, the official said.
It was the nature of elder elephants to come in to help the younger and then were also electrocuted, one wildlife officer inspecting the scene said.
Meanwhile by late this evening, wildlife officials have gained a significant evidence from the scene.
The evidence indicated that the electric fence was freshly removed after the three elephants were electrocuted in order to conceal their crime.
The police will move in tomorrow to have thorough check of the area to find the wrongdoer or doers for trial.
The three elephants, all from the same family were found dead near a newly-dug pond in a village in Huai Sat Yai sub-district.
The three elephants, one male and two females, were found lying near one another.
The officials assume they were a family. The bull is believed to have aged around 10 years and it had its 30 centimeter tusks intact.
Lying next to him was a female elephant aged around 6-7 years and a one-year-old cub.
The officials believe they were a family because an elephant cub is normally dependant on their parents.
All the dead elephants had blood coming out from their eyes and mouths.
However, no gun-shot wound was found on their bodies while there was no sign that they were beaten to death. Many elephant footprints were also found around the pond.
Chief of the Kaeng Krachan National Park Mr Kamol Nuanyai told reporters that the site where the elephants were found dead was not part of the national park.
He said the dead elephants were part of the 15-member herd.
They were last seen by park officials yesterday afternoon at the border of the national park.
He said he believed the elephants died yesterday evening because they bodies began swelling and sending rotten smell.
He said the dead elephants will be moved to Hub Tao area not far from the site where autopsy would be conducted to find the exact cause of their deaths.
Initial investigation suspected that they might die from eating chemical substance or insecticide because they had been feeding near villagers’ farms.
However, a cut wound was found on a trunk of the deceased elephant cub which also leads the officials to suspect that they might have died from other causes, especially electrocution.
They say the elephants could have been electrocuted by an electric fence and the end tip of the cub’s trunk was cut off to conceal the burn wound. The officials are investigating if any high voltage eclectic fence is used in the area. They are also tracing routes that the herd uses.
The Kaeng Krachan National Park is home to three herds of 370 elephants.
In the past, many elephants from the national park have died from food poisoning and killed by hunters and villagers.