NAKHON RATCHASIMA province officials have pledged to solve conflicts between wild gaurs and local farmers after three animals were killed in Wang Nam Khieo district within a period of one week.
The animals were apparently killed because they had roamed outside the forest and ate farmers’ crops.
Local people in Ban Khao Phaeng Ma of Wang Nam Khieo reported yesterday that they had found two large gaurs dead in the forest near Khao Phaeng Ma wildlife sanctuary. Each full-grown adult weighed more than 1,000 kilograms.
The first carcass, a female gaur, had been carved up, with only the skin and head left behind, while the second body of a male was still intact about 100 metres away from the first carcass. A veterinarian team has retrieved the carcasses to conduct autopsies to determine the exact cause of death.
Nakhon Ratchasima Provincial Governor Wichien Chantharanothai expressed concern over the recent deaths yesterday.
As authorities suspected the gaurs had been killed by local farmers, Wichien said the province knew about the existing problem especially involving communities near Khao Phaeng Ma.
Authorities also had discussed the issue with the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department (DNP), but there were no concrete solutions.
“As there is still no final solution from the DNP, the local authorities can only teach local people to try to live with the wild animals in harmony, while the province will compensate for damages to people’s crops caused by wild animals,” he said. “But since there have already been three gaur deaths, the province will invite the DNP and related organisations to discuss a solution to this conflict soon.”
On Thursday, the first gaur was found shot dead in a cassava field near Khao Phaeng Ma wildlife sanctuary, reportedly killed by a farmer because the animal had broken into his plantation and destroyed crops.
Colonel Meechai Khamnerdphrom, superintendent of Wang Nam Khieo Police Station, said police had set up a special investigation team to investigate whether the killings were involved with illegal hunters or wildlife traders. He added that the team had already interrogated all the relevant witnesses.
Meechai said the killers would be brought to justice regardless of the identities.