02 May 2007

Back off or your elephant is dead meat!

An Israeli tourist, Yoram Ben-Hamo, was convicted last Saturday for kidnapping a baby elephant in Thailand and holding it hostage. The incident occurred during a police chase after Ben-Hamo in a village south of Bangkok. Ben-Hamo, who, according to the police was probably drunk, was on his way to the capital when he crashed into three vehicles and injured a motorcyclist. He then fled the scene. The police were called to the place of the accident and started a chase after him.
So far, so good. But, being a resourceful man, our hero found a way out:
During his getaway, he picked up a knife from a merchant, grabbed a baby elephant from a yard in the neighborhood and warned the police that if they did not leave him alone he would harm the elephant.
I would say that the man had the situation under control but for the damned habit:
Having called in a hostage-negotiation team, the police eventually offered Ben-Hamo a cigarette and he was then captured while lighting it. The elephant was returned home unscathed.
And of course, the villain got his dues:
The media in Thailand has criticized the court for the light punishment Ben-Hamo received for the severe crime of endangering an elephant, the national symbol of Thailand: 500 baht (NIS 60, $15).
That would be about 3 packs of cigarettes back home, right, Yoram?

So what lessons are to be learned from this amazing story?
  1. When you are going to shoot (or to cut) - shoot, don't talk
  2. Smoking on your watch is definitely a bad idea
  3. If you are Yoram Ben-Hamo, you will be much better off at home under close supervision of your mom