Thailand rescues nearly 100 elephants from floods

AP News
Posted: Oct 18, 2010 2:53 AM
Thailand rescues nearly 100 elephants from floods

Thailand evacuated dozens of elephants from a popular tourist attraction Monday after they were threatened by floods that submerged homes and paralyzed transportation in parts of the country.

The rescue operation in Ayutthaya province, north of the capital, had 92 of the endangered beasts moved from a site known as Elephant Village, said manager Ittiporn Kaolamai.

He said five baby elephants and their mothers would be taken to an elevated part of the village but the rest would be marched 1.8 miles (3 kilometers) away to a different, drier location.

Thailand has several tourist attractions where visitors can feed and ride elephants, which are also used as beasts of burden in some rural areas.

Weekend downpours across central and northeastern Thailand had tapered off in certain areas by Monday but left a dozen provinces submerged under more than 3 feet (1 meter) of water and damaged 10 highways, officials said.

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The State Railway of Thailand halted service on all lines that serve the North and Northeast on Sunday night because of flooded train tracks. Service was partly resumed Monday morning.