Bull elephant in musth kills mahout with tourists on the back

A Russian tourist and her 8-year-old daughter were safely rescued from the back of a male elephant which went rampage and killed one mahout in Phang Nga province yesterday

The incident happened at Puvara Tour elephant camp which offers elephant rides for visitors in Tambon Nop Pring of Muang district on Sunday.

Police said  Sook Submark, 60, was steering 18-year-old bull elephant  Plai Meow across a canal on a forest tour with  the Russian mother and her daughter on the back.

The jumbo, who was in musth, however didn’t listen to the mahout, and went wild.

It  trampled Sook to death and ran into the wilds, carrying the tourists.

A rescue team of mahouts, police and livestock officials later located the elephant in a palm oil plantation at an adjacent resort, about three kilometres from where Sook was killed.

The team advised the tourists to stay calm to avoid provoking the elephant and causing him to run deeper into the woods. They then shot the animal with two anaesthetic darts.

Another Puvara mahout, who is also close to Plai Meow, managed to jump from a slope and landed on his neck.

He was able to control him and let the two tourists safely jump down from the elephant’s back.

Puvara manager Waraphorn Kasetkararn said Sook and his family had brought Plai Meow, one of seven elephants at the camp, to work with her two years ago. The pachyderm was clever and playful and never hurt anyone.

But Panida, the daughter of the killed mahout,  said she warned her father not to take the jumbo out as last month it was in musth and was chained to a tree along with another bull elephant which also was  in musth, but he didn’t listen.

She said normally her father would be on the back of the elephant and didn’t come down if it went wild.
But he came down this time and was trampled to death.

She said her family raised the bull elephant since it was a baby.