Durian Prompt Elephant Raids

Park rangers  are investigating a wild elephant who broke down a metal door in the Kaeng Krachan National Park this week not once but twice because he couldn’t resist the temptation of durian.

Siriphon Kerdsuchon, the owner of the Dao Kaset Pa La-U store, said that the wild bull elephant, likely a teenager, first broke into her agricultural supply store Tuesday afternoon by knocking down a THB12,000 metal shutter to get at that pungent durian.

Later that night, he came back for more, destroying the just-repaired shutter door again. Durians worth thousands of baht disappeared that time. She was in the store ready with a camera to document his second crime.

Park ranger Jiranun Sawatkul said  that they’re investigating and collecting evidence. Any compensation for Siriphon would need approval from senior officials because they have a very small fund.

According to the 47-year-old shop owner, it’s a common occurrence there. Other farmers and suppliers in the area, including Prachuap Khiri Khan province’s Huai Sat Yai and Hua Hin districts, have complained of wild elephants raiding their fruit.

She said everybody has to “tum jai,” or put up with, the wild animals because they have co-existed for over 15 years.

The ranger said the park will install more camera traps to help manage and prevent wildlife from entering nearby communities.