A wild male elephant trampling around the fringes of National Road 48 in Koh Kong province was tranquilised on Saturday by a team of forestry officials and conservationists after “causing disturbance” and destroying crops and rice fields, said Ratanak Pich, director of Takeo province’s Tamao Zoological Park and Wildlife Rescue Centre.
The elephant, about 30 years old, was being readied for transportation to the zoo, where it was to get treatment and mate with three female elephants, he said.
“It will arrive no later than tomorrow or the day after tomorrow,” he said.
Sam Saeoun, deputy police chief of Botum Sakor district, said although the elephant had not hurt anyone, it had damaged valuable crops and caused chaos on local roads.
Sarah Brook, a flagship species officer for the NGO Flora and Fauna International, said that although relocating wild elephants to zoos or rescue centres was not a long-term solution to human-elephant conflict, this particular animal had a badly injured leg.
“It is possible that human-elephant conflict incidents will increase in Cambodia in the near future, with increasing land-use changes,” she said.
To contact the reporters on this story: Khouth Sophak Chakrya and Claire Knox at [email protected]