Manhunt for a monk suspected of girdling and poisoning over 100 trees in temple

The forest management office in the southern province of Krabi are gathering evidence to take legal action against a monk who allegedly girdled more than 100 trees and then poisoned them with chemicals in order to kill them.

The Krabi forest management office director Mr Thanat Saemee said Sunday that officials had checked trees on the compound of Wat Tham Sua monastery and adjacent area and found several hundreds of trees, aged between 10-100 years old, being girdled and sprayed with herbicide with many of them dying and stripped of leaves.

At the parking lot of the monastery, about 100 Tabaek, Inthanin, Krathinnarong and Chamchuree trees were found to have been girdled and sprayed with herbicide.

A monk who was suspected to be the tree killer was identified as Phra Sap Chittamaro has already disappeared from the temple.

It was reported that internal conflict in the temple was the cause of the “killing” of the trees.

Mr Thanat said all efforts would be made to hunt down the runaway monk so as the incident would not set an example for others to follow suit.