Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Juvenile elephant found dead in hole in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary

Juvenile elephant found dead in hole in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary

Community members and NGO staff pull a dead juvenile elephant from a hole in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary. Photo supplied
Community members and NGO staff pull a dead juvenile elephant from a hole in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary. Photo supplied

Juvenile elephant found dead in hole in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary

A young male elephant was found dead after getting stuck in a hole on Monday afternoon in Mondulkiri’s Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, according to officials.

Dem Buntoeun, the sanctuary’s director, said the 1-year-old elephant had already been removed, and the corpse was transported to the Ministry of Environment in Phnom Penh for study.

“We felt deep regret after obtaining the report from border military forces at O’Chum area saying that they encountered it dead because it was trapped in a hole surrounded by bamboo bushes,” he said.

At first, he said, they suspected the hole was a trap set by hunters, but upon inspection realised that the elephant had in fact stepped into a termite nest which collapsed, trapping the two hind legs of the pachyderm in a pit about one metre wide and a little over half a metre deep.

Given that the body had not begun to decompose, Bunteoun said, experts estimate that the 200-kilogram elephant likely died on Sunday night or early Monday morning.

Keo Sopheak, the Mondulkiri Environment Department director, said the elephant’s body would be taxidermied and put on display for the young generation to “study and research”.

According to the Wildlife Conservation Society some 250 to 500 globally endangered wild Asian elephants remain in the Kingdom, with no more than 115 individuals in the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary.

WCS Technical Advisor Tan Setha is quoted in a press release saying “Wild elephants in Cambodia are facing high risk due to habitat loss and snaring".

"To protect this species, we need to safeguard their natural habitat with the participation of all stake-holders, especially local authorities and communities to report information to the relevant authorities and conservation organizations whenever they encounter the elephants ... in bad condition,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’