Sad and Mysterious Murders in Thai National Park

 | Tue 18 Mar 2014 09:04 ICT

CityNews – On Sunday, 16th March, the headless, charred corpse of a gaur  (the largest bovine species in current existence) was discovered by Kui Buri National Park officials on a routine patrol of the area. Once the case was reported to the police, the provincial police chief ordered an urgent investigation into the death of the protected animal.

A rare, young albino bison and bigger gaur at a wildlife sanctuary in South India.

Police found two spent bullets near the dead animal, as well as fingerprints which could help lead to the criminals. They believe that a gang is behind the killing, and that they removed the meat from the body before setting the carcass on fire in an attempt to obscure their crime. The most likely reason they beheaded the wild cow is because a gaur head with horns intact fetches between 50,000 and 80,000 baht on the black market.

In December last year, at least 24 of the mild-mannered bison were found dead in the park, and police found no suspects to charge for the crimes. Local villagers managed to raise 100,000 baht as a bounty on whoever was responsible for the killings, and Brahmin priests placed a curse on the murderers, saying that they will die for what they have done to the gentle giants. 

Today, there are only 150 confirmed gaurs in the entire country, while there were less than 1,000 during the 90’s. The species is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since the late 80’s and their population numbers have been rapidly declining since the 60’s in all areas it naturally occurs. Gaurs historically lived throughout South and Southeast Asia, many of which have overhunted the species and destroyed much of their habitat. Despite still being poached for trade and trophies by humans, gaurs have very few enemies in nature – they are known to kill tigers and crocodiles that might attempt to take them down in the wild.