Woman killed by wild elephant in rubber plantation

Loi Kasanthia’s boot lies in the foreground as rescue workers wrap her mangled dead body in a cloth after she was killed by a wild elephant in a rubber plantation in Nongyai district, Chonburi province.

PATTAYA, Thailand – A 66-year-old woman was killed by a wild elephant while tapping rubber trees in a plantation in Nongyai district, Chonburi province, on December 23 morning. The victim, identified as Loi Kasanthia, was working with her husband, Lab, 70, when they encountered the elephant around 10 a.m. Lab told police that he and his wife ran in opposite directions, but Loi tripped and fell, and the elephant attacked her. Lab, who suffered a fractured knee and multiple scratches, managed to escape and call for help. Police and rescue workers arrived at the scene and found Loi’s body with severe injuries and her rubber tapping equipment damaged.

The owner of the plantation, Lersak Prasong, said that this was not the first time that wild elephants had entered his property and caused trouble. He said that he had reported the problem to the local authorities several times, but no action had been taken. He urged the government to find a way to prevent further conflicts between humans and elephants, as many villagers depended on rubber tapping for their livelihood. He said that he was worried about the safety of his workers and himself.

Rescue workers take Loi’s body to the hospital as police and rescue workers search the area for any traces of the wild elephant that attacked her and her husband while they were tapping rubber trees in a plantation in Nongyai district, Chonburi province.

According to the Office of Wildlife Conservation Information of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, 135 people have been killed and 116 injured by wild elephants in the past six years, including 27 deaths in the first nine months of this year alone. The agency said that it was working with various stakeholders to find solutions to mitigate human-elephant coexistence challenges, such as creating buffer zones, installing electric fences, and raising awareness among local communities.