Elephant found dead after being shot by Thai man who claims it charged at him
This is the heartbreaking moment an elephant was found dead - the fourth to be killed in Thailand this month.
The male jumbo was seen by park rangers who were patrolling forests in Prachuap Khiri Khan, southern Thailand on June 28.
The fallen elephant's head was submerged in a creek near a local rubber farm.
Wildlife rangers later summoned vets to examine the elephant's body and find the cause of death.
The team detected metal inside the elephant's skull which was later identified as shot from a rifle.
Investigators traced the gun to resident, Narong Ornpakdee, 49, who they arrested on suspicion of killing the elephant.
He allegedly admitted shooting the creature but claimed it was in self-defence after it charged at him.
Police Colonel Wirat Thongthai said the man has been remanded in custody while the investigate the most serious charges of killing an elephant.
He said: "Initially, we have charged him possession of a gun without license, unreasonable shooting firearm in public, and violation of the animal reservation act.
''However, before he can be charged with killing the elephant we will have to investigate his claims that it ran towards him.'' Police said that some locals sympathised with the suspect as they claim that wild elephants have destroyed crops in the area and attacked homes.
National park wildlife boss Thammanoon Temchai said they are working to solve the problem and urged residents not to attack elephants.
He said: "The problem in the area has become serious but the solution is still a work in progress." Elephants are a protected animal in Thailand and killing them carries a maximum prison term of up to three years and a fine of 1,000 baht (25GBP).