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Authorities gather around a bull elephant in a Mondulkiri forest yesterday during an attempt to recapture the animal after it killed its owner earlier in the week. Photo supplied
Authorities gather around a bull elephant in a Mondulkiri forest yesterday during an attempt to recapture the animal after it killed its owner earlier in the week. Photo supplied

Rogue elephant captured in Mondulkiri

The rogue bull elephant Mai was finally caught yesterday by a team of experts from the Tamao Zoo and Rescue Center after creature killed its owner and fled to the forest three days ago.

On Tuesday, two female elephants were released in an attempt to lure Mai out of the forest, but the females joined the bull and would not return. All three were successfully captured yesterday.

“In capturing the male elephant, the experts used trucks and modern devices such as tranquilisers, chains and two female elephants as the lures as well,” said To Meng, Sre Ampoum commune deputy police chief. Meng also said the elephant had been terrorising tourists visiting Bousraa Waterfall for the past few days.

“In fact, Mai wanted copulation, but its owner did not satisfy him and attempted to confine him; therefore, it became furious and killed its owner,” Meng added.

The bull elephant may have been in musth – a condition in which testosterone spikes and elephants become aggressive – at the time of the attack.

Nhoek Thy, leader of the team that captured Mai, said that capturing the elephants wouldn’t have been possible without tranquilisers. “Five syringes of tranquiliser were used, two of those were shot at the male elephant,” he said.

Thy said that he hoped that the owners of the elephant would continue to treat it well, despite the fact that the victim’s son-in-law, Kem Sokchhun, said on Monday he wanted to kill Mai.

Yesterday, Sokchhun said that the family wanted to hand Mai over to authorities in exchange for monetary compensation.

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