Three elephants killed when uprooted tree falls on them during storm in Thailand


Three elephants were killed when an uprooted tree fell on them during a storm in the Thailand.

Mother jumbo Mae Mun, 40, her baby Bank, aged three, and an elderly bull named Jo, 53, were sheltering under the enormous tree during strong wind and heavy rain in Chiang Mai on Wednesday evening (April 14).

However, the 80ft (25 meres) takhian tree was blown over and crashed down onto them before they could escape in the Mae Wang Elephant Camp.

Staff found the mother elephant and her baby on the ground alongside the tree the next morning. The older bull had been injured and walked further into the forest before collapsing.

Vets from the camp, part of the Foundation for the Conservation of Elephants and the Environment, said they tried to revive Jo the elephant but he died later that day.

Three other elephants that were also sheltering under the tree were injured. They are being treated for their injuries and will make a full recovery.

Vet Sittaya Janyamettakul from Chiang Mai University said: ‘There were six elephants in the camp at the scene of the incident. The large takhian tree then fell over onto them. The mother elephant and her baby suffered multiple fractures and died instantly but Jo was severely injured and died later. He had suffered multiple fractures and it was unsafe to move him so we treated him at the scene but sadly he died.

‘Two of the injured elephants have been sent to a hospital in Lampang province but one will stay at the camp as she is healthy.’

Thailand and other countries in Southeast Asia such as Malaysia and Indonesia are approaching their tropical monsoon rainy season. Soaring temperatures reaching 35 degrees Celsius are often followed by powerful tropical storms with thunder, lightning, rain and flash floods.

An estimated 2,000 elephants are living in the wild in Thailand and a similar number in captivity, where they live in sanctuaries, conservation camps, zoos or work privately for hire at weddings and festivals.