Two Elephants went wild over a barking dog in Phuket yesterday, injuring three Chinese tourists and a mahout (elephant tender).
Vachira Hospital received a report of the incident at about 9:30am, then asked rescue workers to send three ambulances to the elephant camp in Chalong.
A total of five people were hurt, four tourists and the mahout leading the ride. The mahout, hurled off the back of the beast he was riding, suffered a back injury and was sent to Vachira Phuket Hospital. The four tourists, two females and two males, were sent to Phuket International Hospital.
Hu Jun, 39, injured his ankle and suffered chest pain. His 13-year-old daughter, Hu Yuxin, had a minor sprain. Tang Senlie 39, required surgery for an unspecified injury, and Tang Ye, 12, was released after x-rays and other tests for injuries.
According to the mahout, who asked not to be named, Hu Jun and his family boarded two elephants, 'Giant' and 'Numchoke'. About 200 meters down the track of their ride, a neighboring dog began to bark "wildly", causing the elephants to panic and run out of control.
It was raining and the ground was muddy.
Both elephants fell, but fortunately the tourists were thrown free, the mahout added.
Officers from the Phuket tourist police went to visit the victims at the hospital.
The owner of the elephant park says he will take full responsibility for all medical expenses incurred.
Meanwhile, Four suspects have been arrested for allegedly helping foreign tourists catch rare giant freshwater stingrays in Samut Songkhram. Provincial regulations forbid catching the fish unless it is for research purposes.
The suspects were arrested on Monday after the officers from relevant agencies in Amphawa District investigated reports from local people who saw live broadcasts on Facebook.
Samut Songkhram Provincial Governor Khanchat Tansathian said he ordered the Provincial Fisheries Office to file a complaint against the four suspects at Amphawa Police Station.
He said the people at Samut Songkhram cherish and want to save the endangered giant freshwater stingray.
The four men did not have a valid boat driving licence, the boat was not registered with the Marine Department, and there was illegal fishing equipment on the boat, police said. Three of them had traces of amphetamine in their urine.
One of the suspects said that they were hired by another man called “Boy” to organise the fishing trip for foreign tourists to catch giant freshwater stingray. They claimed that they had permission to catch the stingray for research purposes.
However, officers found that the permission that the suspects claimed they had expired in November 2016.