Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment permanent secretary Wijarn Simachaya on Thursday said bad weather had caused a helicopter pilot to drop an Asian black bear in February, resulting in the bear’s death.
The helicopter transport was meant to return the animal safely to the wilderness.
He said the death was still being investigated by the Office of Aviation for Natural Resource Conservation and the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP).
He added that the ministry’s separate fact-finding probe should provide a clear answer about the causes of the tragedy by the end of the month.
Wijarn said the DNP had airlifted wild animals before, but the weather conditions were bad that day with gusty winds, resulting in the helicopter shaking violently and forcing the pilot had to drop the bear.
“It’s a tragedy that no one wants to see happen. We’ll take this lesson to improve the aviation system and airlifts of wild animals,” said Wijarn.