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Toxic material may have caused gaurs' deaths

The death of eight gaurs in Prachuap Khiri Khan's Kui Buri National Park between December 2 and December 20 might have resulted from exposure to toxic material, the provincial livestock development office's veterinarian said yesterday.

Officials collected water samples from 12 water sources in the forest, blood samples of neighbouring farms' 13 sick cows and some pesticide samples that were used in the nearby farms for tests at the Bangkok-based Kasetsart University's National Institute of Animal Health, veterinarian Saroj Chanlad said. The test results should be out within this month, he added. The eight gaurs were healthy and weighed over 1,500 kilograms and might have died at around the same time, possibly from exposure to toxic material via a nearby water source, according to Saroj.

In the meantime, the Protected Areas Regional Office 3 chief Saratcha Suriyakul Na Ayudhaya has instructed park officers to prevent more elephants and other animals from using water sources suspected to be toxic, pending test results.

In related news, a 20-year-old elephant from Surat Thani's Tai Rom Yen National Park was electrocuted. Its carcass was found yesterday past midnight. Its leg got entangled in an electricity wire from a makeshift fence that some farmers had set up to prevent elephants from entering the rubber plantation. This was the second case of the park's elephant being electrocuted.


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