A teenage boy was seriously injured during an encounter with a rare gaur in Preah Sihanouk province on Friday, after the large bovine gored him near the waist while he tried to take a photo of it.
Hy Chanrith, Prey Nop district governor, said victim Pho Sambath, 19, almost died from blood loss.
“If it had been a bit later, [Sambath] might be dead. As for the gaur, no one did anything to it, they just chased him into the forest,” Chanrith said, adding that he expected the gaur to be caught and relocated to a zoo.
Gaur are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with the organisation estimating Cambodia’s gaur population decreased by “well over 50%” from the 1960s to 1990s, with the rate of decline “almost certainly” increasing since then.
Samut Sothearit, the provincial director of the Environmental Department, said they will likely not relocate the gaur because they believe it came from Bokor, which is already a protected area.
“Of the animals left in Cambodia, gaur and elephants are the most likely to be dangerous,” said Thomas Gray with Wildlife Alliance, adding that they can “get quite aggressive”.
Despite this, Gray said the only reason human-animal conflicts occur in the first place is “human encroachment on the habitats of the animals”.