Variations: Ye Thin (Myanmar); Water Elephant
The Chang Nam, or “water elephant”, is native to the jungle streams of Thailand. Its equivalent in Myanmar is called the Ye Thin.
A chang nam looks like a miniature replica of an elephant. It is no bigger than a rat but has a trunk and sharp little tusks and all the hallmarks of elephants.
These water elephants are extremely dangerous. Merely seeing a chang nam’s shadow causes instant death. A chang nam will also stab footprints and reflections in the water with its tusks, bringing about the death to the owner of the footprint or reflection.
It seems uncertain whether the chang nam has a purely supernatural origin or if it has some real animal as its basis. Nonetheless, stuffed chang nam skins are available for sale to gullible tourists; these are manipulated frog or rodent skins with tusks attached.
Wood, W. A. R. (1965) Consul in Paradise: Sixty-nine Years in Siam. Souvenir Press, London.