Park authorities and Sidor Daeng, the 15-year-old bull elephant, have played hide-and-seek since early January, when he wandered away from Khao Takrup, a forest area in Wang Nam Yen district of Sa Kaeo used as a detention centre for “problematic” wild animals. It is part of the Khao Ang Ru Nai Wildlife Sanctuary.
Sidor Daeng roamed the eastern region, raiding fruit orchards and crop fields and killing one person who got in his way.
Park officials described him as smart but moody, and ready to attack anyone who disturbs him. That made Sidor Daeng both difficult to find, and dangerous, they added.
After leaving the detention forest the elephant has attacked a motorcyclist in a rubber plantation in Na Yai Am district of Chanthaburi in January, killing the mother who was driving and seriously injuring her son, who was riding pillion.
Farmers in Sa Kaeo, Chanthaburi and Trat lived in fear after the return of Sidor Daeng. Many orchards in these provinces were damaged, and he was blamed.
“It’s back!! Plai Sidor Daeng comes down from Khao Soi Dao to raid Sa Kaeo,” screamed a headline on Matichon online on Jan 8. Plai means a male elephant in Thai.
Sidor Daeng was believed to have crossed the border to into Cambodia that month and later returned to Thailand. Most recently, he had been seen in the forest around Chanthaburi.
Park officials, local officials, soldiers and volunteers, about 100 in total, searched and searched for him and finally found the elephant at Ban Tabok Pia in Makham district at 8:30pm yesterday (June 14).
Five tranquilliser darts fired from guns were needed to sedate him, and a large backhoe from the Chanthaburi Provincial Administration Organisation (OrBorJor) to lift the seven-tonne elephant onto a 10-wheel truck. He was then returned to Khao Takrub.
Sidor Daeng is home again – for now.
Read original story here.