HORRIFIED tourists saw their Thai tour guide stung to death by crazed giant wasps – which then feasted on his body for FOUR days.
The angry Asian hornets bombarded Sanchai Phaoarun, 58, with their vicious stings in Thailand.
When cops arrived at the scene they found the guide's swollen body, covered with bruises, police Lieut Col Sampan Yotin told Chiang Mai City Life.
It's believed that he tripped and fell, and suffered from an anaphylactic shock.
The insects' deadly stinging attack occurred while he was taking a French couple sightseeing in Chiang Mai last Saturday afternoon.
Unfortunately the group unwittingly disturbed the predators' hive on a jungle trek, stirring up thousands of angry hornets.
They immediately dive-bombed Sanchai and repeatedly stung him across his body.
Seeing their guide collapse on the ground in agony, terrified couple Jean Louis L'amour and Anne Mapile fled in panic, as the hornets also starting attacking them.
Shouting for help as they ran, their cries were heard by residents at a village, who took them to hospital.
While they were being treated, rescue workers managed to track down Sanchai's body, deep in the jungle.
But they were driven back by the killer Asian hornets – also known as vespa velutina.
After four days left lying among the dense vegetation, the guide's sting-riddled body was finally retrieved on Tuesday afternoon, after the area had been fumigated to drive away the crazed insects.
Yotin blamed the nightmare-like death on the hornets and said it was not being treated as suspicious.
One of the rescuer volunteers involved with retrieving Sanchai's body said: "We went into the wood on Monday to help the tour guide, but the mission had to be abandoned after three of our team were stung by the hornets that were swarming around his body.
"We planned for a safer method – covering our bodies using firefighter suits and went in again today and finally we were able carry the body out."
The local guide's body was handed over to his family for a Buddhist funeral.
What are Asian hornets?
Asian hornets, which have the Latin name Vespa velutina, are large insects that prey on smaller creatures, especially bees.
Part of the wasp family, queens grow up to 3cm in length, and workers up to 2.5cm.
Their bodies are dark brown or black, and bordered with a yellow band, while they have one band across the abdomen.
Their legs are brown with yellow ends and they have an orange face.
The insects are feared as they contain a neurotoxin that can kill in just a single sting.
The sting also holds eight chemicals that can cause an allergic shock in humans.
In France, six people have already died from anaphylactic shock after being stung.
Concern has also been raised about the potential arrival of the Asian hornet in the UK because the beasts are known to attack honey bees, whose numbers already dwindling.
Some experts believe the hornets eat as many as 50 bees a day – as they have strong jaws.
Disturbing a hornets’ nest can be extremely dangerous as up to 700 insects will join in an attack on any perceived threat.
If you disturb them, the advice is to crouch low to the ground, stop moving and try to cover your head.
They can fly faster than you can run and are intrigued by moving targets and consider running a provocation.
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