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Samui mahout charged in tourist’s death

Samui mahout charged in tourist’s death

SURAT THANI: Police have pressed charges of negligence against a Myanmar mahout after an elephant killed a tourist from Scotland on Koh Samui.

deathanimalstourism
By Bangkok Post

Monday 8 February 2016, 10:17AM


Thailand has an estimated 4,000 domesticated elephants, many working in the tourism trade, alongside some 2,500 wild elephants. Photo: Pornchai Kittiwongsakul/AFP

Thailand has an estimated 4,000 domesticated elephants, many working in the tourism trade, alongside some 2,500 wild elephants. Photo: Pornchai Kittiwongsakul/AFP

Zaw Win Tun, 37, was informed on Saturday (Feb 6) of the charges on negligence leading to the death and injury of other people by Bophut police.

“Police are preparing to forward the case to the court,” said Pol Col Tewes Pluemsut, the station chief.

Gareth Crowe, 37, was struck by the trunk of Golf, a male elephant, while riding with his 16-year-old daughter, Eiligh Huges, in a forested area in Bophut last Monday (Feb 1). She was also injured after falling from the animal.

The 13-year-old beast stomped on Crowe and gored him in the chest. The animal also gored the mahout with a tusk to his ribs.

Zaw Win Tun was treated at Koh Samui Hospital and doctors released him on Thursday (Feb 4).

He told the police that he was on the ground to take pictures of the two tourists feeding bananas to Golf when the incident happened. The animal became angry after the Scottish man teased him with bananas, he added.

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Pol Col Tewes said Zaw Win Tun was negligent because he had climbed down from the elephant instead of staying on its back to take care of the tourists.

Samui district chief Paiboon Omak said officials would check the licences of all tour firms, elephants and their mahouts.

All handlers must possess experience in controlling elephants and are required to stay with them at all times when they are with tourists, he added.

Surat Thani governor Wongsiri Promchana said that the mahout worked for Island Safari Tour Co.

Read original story here.

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