Wild elephant gores Thai farmer to death

Bangkok (AFP) –


A wild elephant gored a young farmer to death in a national park in Thailand, police said Thursday.

Three elephants foraging for food came across the 26-year-old man and his wife sleeping in a tent, said police captain Chalit Sudachan.

The woman hid under a nearby truck, but the farmer was attacked as he tried to flee.

"He was stabbed once by the elephant's tusk from the front... the tusk pierced his back killing him instantly," Chalit told AFP from northern Buriram province.

Elephants are Thailand's national animal and live in the wild in parts of the country, but their numbers have dwindled to about 2,700 from a peak of over 100,000 in 1850.

Deforestation and habitat loss have pushed the wild population into closer contact with humans in recent decades, leading to more frequent clashes with villagers and farmers.