Committee meets to address issues of human and elephant conflicts in Hua Hin

Motorists to Waterfalls in Hua Hin Warned of Encountering Wild Elephants
An encounter between an elephant and a motorist in Hua Hin. File photo

A committee of wildlife and conservation experts have held a meeting aimed at addressing what officials say is a growing problem of human and elephant conflicts in Hua Hin.

The meeting was held last week at the Kaeng Krachan Forest Elephant Conservation Information Center in Pa La-U.

There are now approximately 250 elephants living in the Kaeng Krachan National Park, officials said.

The issue of elephants encroaching into farmland, damaging crops and property and attacking villagers, resulting in fatalities, particularly in the Huai Sat Yai area of Hua Hin has intensified in recent months.

Officials said they have previously tried a range of different methods aimed at keeping elephants away from the local communities, including using force, creating alternative water and food sources and using cameras and GPS to monitor the location of the elephants.

But now a three phase plan has been drafted that aims to prevent and resolve some of the problems with elephants in the area in both the short and long term.

In the first phase, a Special Operations Center will be established to monitor for wild elephants, with regular meetings to be held with locals as part of the creation of a public warning network.

The second phase will see requests made to land owners and other relevant parties change the terrain around properties, roads, and surrounding areas to allow for better visibility of wild elephants.

The third phase involves more long term planning and will see special fences constructed to keep elephants away from farmland.

The news comes following a number of confrontations between elephants and locals in Huai Sat Yai throughout the past year.

In April, Mr. Chuchai Lueangphadung, 57, suffered three broken ribs, broken teeth, a swollen face, chest pain, and numbness in his right leg due to a herniated disc after being trampled by elephants at his farm.

Also in April, a 17 year old youth was killed, believed to have been trampled to death after confronting elephants who had been eating crops from another farm in the area.