By Surachai Piraksa
Sa Saengsawang, director of the province’s national resources and environment office, on Tuesday said he had also warned locals living near Dongyai National Reserved Forest – a restricted area – to avoid entering the forest to pick plants and fruits.
This was because they could be harmed by wild animals, he said, adding that officials had spotted a large herd of 32 wild elephants in the Krapod mountain part of the restricted area.
Should any villagers find the elephants wandering outside the forest, they should immediately alert officials so that they could push them back into their area, he stressed.
They have been asked not to harm the animals, and told that they could be prosecuted under the Wild Animals Act if they do so.
The director explained that in the event that elephants or other wild animals wander out of the forest to eat or destroy villagers’ crops, they should notify the authorities so that they could seek compensation.
Officials have erected warning signs along Highway No 348 between Buri Ram and Tapraya in Non Din Daeng district for drivers to be on high alert for wild animals, and to slow their speed to avoid hitting any that may cross the road.
Sa’s office has deployed patrol teams in Dong Yai National Reserved Forest to help push the wild animals back into the protected area if they stray outside.