Latest Newsletter🍵 White House’s first Lunar New YearRead


Elephant Kills Driver in Thailand, Runs off into Jungle with Family Still on Its Back

    Asian America Daily - in under 5 minutes

    Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories, to your inbox daily, for free!

    Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive

    The latest accident in Thailand’s elephant tourism industry resulted in the death of an elephant keeper and a rude awakening for tourists.

    During a jungle tour in Chiang Mai on Wednesday, an elephant reportedly “went berserk” killing its driver and running off into the jungle with a Chinese family of three on its back, reports the AFP.

    Police reports show the incident occurred at 9:30 a.m. local time.

    Colonel Thawatchai Thepboon, police commander of Mae Wang district in Chiang Mai province, stated:

    “The mahout who was killed was Karen and he was not familiar with the elephant. [The tourists] are safe now.”

    The Karen are an ethnic group with an estimated 1 million individuals living in Thailand.

    Channel 3 reported that the elephant was not at ease with its new keeper and attacked him unexpectedly, goring him to death.

    The Chinese family, a mother, father and young child, were brought to safety after other elephants and their keepers on the tour pursued and soothed the elephant. Footage from the channel shows the three terrified tourists being guided back to camp while still on the elephant’s back.

    Elephant riding is a popular tourist attraction in Thailand. Elephants are often captured and traded illegally for the industry, which has left only an estimated 2,500 elephants in the wild.

    The approximately 4,000 domesticated elephants are tamed at a young age through often torturous methods that break their spirits. The baby elephants are essentially beaten into submission with clubs and deprived of food and sleep.

    Animal rights groups and activists have heavily criticized the unethical and immoral aspects of the elephant industry in Thailand. This is not the first accident to have occurred — in June, an elephant killed two men as they were eating dinner at a beachside resort.

    Edwin Wiek, a campaigner from Wildlife Friends of Thailand told AFP:

    “Elephants work every day, of every month, basically 365 days per year.

    “If you had to do the same, you would get stressed. It is the same for elephants. At some point they become crazy and we can’t control them.”

    Support our Journalism with a Contribution

    Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.

    Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.

    However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.

    We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way.  Thank you for everyone's support. We love you all and can't appreciate you guys enough.

    Support NextShark

    Mastercard, Visa, Amex, Discover, Paypal