A 20-year-old male elephant in Thailand died after eating bananas that were treated with chemicals, fed by the tourists.
The bananas were reportedly chemically contaminated with ethylene gas and fed to the elephant, who fell sick after eating it and eventually dying.
The Thaiger reported that the elephant was from the Kaebai Meechai Elephant Camp in Koh Chang, situated in the eastern part of Thailand.
A few tourists had offered the elephant bananas at the time and the animal then fell sick within a few weeks, suffering from flatulence and indigestion.
A vet was then called in from the Elephant Hospital in the Lampang province to check on the sickly elephant, but its condition worsened and eventually died despite numerous treatments.
The trainer of the elephant, Chaisawan Phisin, discovered after the elephant had gotten sick, that the tourists had bought the bananas from a market, where fresh fruits are treated with ethylene gas to let them ripen on their own.
An undisclosed group offered to buy the elephant’s carcass for SGD$3,907, but the camp wouldn’t sell because the elephant was raised there all its life and was loved by the staff, and they chose to bury him instead.
THe Director of Phattana Animal Hospital, Phakphong Sangwiset, shared that elephants generally love eating leaves, grass, sugarcane and bananas, as well as watermelons, cucumbers and other fruits.
The elephant camp said that they are taking precautions and warning visitors against feeding their animals with chemically contaminated food.