The Director of the Chiang Mai Zoo released a statement on the recent death of a mahout who had been killed by a bull elephant at the Zoo on March 22, 2016. Director Nipon Wichairat said that the 25 year old male elephant named Billy had been in musth for about two weeks; musth is a frenzied state during rutting season when the male is ready to mate.
Two mahouts were on duty tending to Billy and feeding him in a pen separate from the other elephants when Billy gored Somsak Panna to death. Other mahouts in the area came to his rescue but were unable to save him.
Billy is the 25 year old elephant who killed his mahout in a separate pen while in musth at the Chiang Mai Zoo.
The Zoo Director stated that the Zoo has veterinary staff on hand and that staff are fully trained to deal with male elephants in musth but that this case was a chance occurrence not related to any lack of safety standards at the Zoo.
Benchapol Nakprasert, Director of Thailand Zoological Park Organization, ordered Chiang Mai Zoo to completely provide help for the mahout’s family and expressed the organization’s deep sadness at the loss of this experienced mahout that had been with the Chiang Mai Zoo for twenty-one years.