A wild elephant was found after allegedly being electrocuted outside a farm in Thailand.
The male jumbo, estimated to be at least eight years old, was discovered lifeless while a 220volt power cord hung in its mouth in Chachoengsao province on April 26.
High-voltage cables which were meant to supply electricity to a nearby village were believed to have been put up too low and the elephant walked into them.
A team of vets arrived with the officers to check on the elephant and found no other injuries on its body aside from burn marks.
Farmer Prathum Phanakul said he was passing by the rubber plantation on his way home when he saw the dead animal and immediately called the police for help.
He said: ‘That male was probably separated from the herd and refused to return to the forest. This was the normal behaviour of elephants around here. They are not aggressive but stubborn.
‘He must have been searching for food during the night and grabbed the electrical cable into the mouth. His bite probably cut the insulator off which sent electrical shocks to its body.’
Sanam Chai Khet Police Station officer Colonel Sumit Phromtong said the vets have taken the animal to the hospital for a post-mortem examination.
He said: ‘The elephant did not have other injuries but we wanted to make sure what its cause of death was. We will just be waiting for the autopsy report while investigations are ongoing.’
Elephants are the national animal of Thailand. An estimated 2,000 elephants are living in the wild and a similar number in captivity.
In the wild, they roam through the deep jungle and in the country’s protected national parks but often encounter humans on roads and in villages. However, they are protected by laws and killing them carries a maximum prison term of up to three years and a fine of 1,000 baht (25GBP).