Park rangers came face-to-face with a herd of wild elephants that were defending their territory in a national park in Thailand. The officers were doing their regular patrols in a forest in Sublangka Wildlife Sanctuary when the family of jumbo refused to let them pass in Lopburi province on June 7. As the pickup truck pursued the trail, the adult jumbos followed behind appearing to drive them away while making trumpeting sounds. Some of the young elephants also emerged from the group but another adult quickly pushed them back behind the herd. Amused ranger Tanadol Pengsalung said the herd did not hurt them and were only overprotective of their territory and the young elephants. He said: ‘They were blocking the road and did not want us in that area. They were probably foraging with the young elephants when we arrived. ‘The elephants did not hurt us and appeared to understand that we only wanted to pass. They eventually left us alone.’ The rangers used a stick to create distance between the truck and the elephants while they moved forward. The animals then stopped following afterwards. Elephants are the national animal of Thailand. An estimated 2,000 elephants are living in the wild and a similar number in captivity. In the wild, they roam through the deep jungle and in the country’s protected national parks but often encounter humans on roads and in villages. However, they are protected by laws and killing them carries a maximum prison term of up to three years and a fine of 1,000 baht (25GBP).
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