Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation chief Thanya Netithamkul said on Thursday that he had reported the matter to the minister.
“The shooting is a serious crime against national park rangers and will be met with swift legal action,” Thanya said.
Six national park officers were in an AS350 helicopter, on a monthly survey of the forest and looking out for any encroachment.
The pilot reportedly saw a man and a woman dashing into a hut that was built in a protected area after they spotted the chopper approaching. The man subsequently ran out with a homemade gun and fired a round towards the rear of the helicopter.
After the incident, the pilot landed the chopper at the Jai Phaen Din ranger base about 7 kilometres away. No officers were injured but the helicopter has a 4-5 cemtimetre long scratch mark on the left side below the window.
Lt-Colonel Thanom Sirimuang who piloted the chopper said that he suspected that the chopper was shot by a shotgun, judging from the gun’s length and smoke that came out of the barrel.
The department has also filed a case at Kaeng Krachan Police Station to track down the shooter and the woman, who were believed to be encroaching on national forest lands.
Published : May 21, 2021
By : THE NATION