A conservationist group has urged the Thai government to seriously tackle the issue of humans confronting wild gaurs in the Wang Nam Khieo district of Nakhon Ratchasima province.
The area is known as a habitat of the country’s largest herd of wild gaurs. Khao Phaeng Ma conservation group coordinator Boripat Sunthorn cited the discovery on Thursday of a 10-year-old 1.2-tonne carcass of a wild gaur with a fatal shotgun wound in a forest behind Wat Pa Sangkhathan in Tambon Wang Mee as a case in point.
The gaur is suspected to have died four days before the carcass was found. He said this was not an isolated case and there had been many victims from the long years of humans confronting gaurs. He said the past few years had seen more gaurs getting killed with 4-5 cases per year compared to 1-2 cases four years ago and before that.
Boripat attributed the increase in fatalities to more people farming near the national park’s forest while the population of wild gaurs was on rising. Some gaurs, who get evicted from their herd, look for new territory and find food in corn or tapioca plantations.
This triggers an angry response from the farmers who resort to various methods to drive the animal away. He urged the Natural Resource and Environment Ministry to seriously tackle this issue. Police suspected that the person who shot dead the gaur was a local villager because if it were shot by a poacher or a hunter, its meat and horns would have been removed for sale, according to Wang Nam Khieo superintendent Pol Colonel Meechai Kamnerdphrom.
Meechai said police would join the Thab Lan National Park to provide information about rare wildlife conservation as Wang Nam Khieo was the habitat of the country’s largest gaur herd. Source: Nation