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Elephant kills Burmese migrant in Thailand

Elephants in Taungoo, Pegu Division. (PHOTO: DVB)

A Burmese migrant worker died last Friday after he was attacked by an elephant at a sanctuary in northern Thailand’s Chiang Mai Province, according to the Thai news website Manager Online.

The man, identified as 20-year-old San Htaw Ni, was pronounced dead at the hospital on 11 March after he was reportedly trampled by the elephant at the Mae Taeng Elephant Nature Park earlier that day.

An officer from the Mae Taeng police station told Manager Online that San Htaw Ni suffered a broken spine and was rushed to the Mae Taeng Hospital, where doctors were unable to save him.

A mahout working at the camp said the victim was attacked as he was trying to feed the 10-year-old female elephant, which had been rescued from an elephant-riding camp in the southern province of Krabi.

The police discovered Saw Htaw Ni was an undocumented migrant who had arrived at the elephant park just five days before the incident. The operator of the park denied any connection to him.

The Mae Taeng Elephant Nature Park is home to disabled and ailing elephants, which are usually fed and bathed by volunteers.

Wildlife experts say that elephants often suffer severe physical and psychological damage as a result of being held in captivity and used as tourist attractions.

Human contact with wild elephants can also be deadly, especially when they leave their natural habitats in search of food.

Reporting by DVB