Cambodian authorities are monitoring a rogue wild elephant following a day in pursuit of the pachyderm after she trampled a number of villagers’ farmland.
The female elephant was spotted on Sunday morning in Oddar Meanchey’s Dangrek Mountains – a rare sighting, according to Banteay Ampil District Governor Hang Meng.
“In the six years since I came to be governor in the district, I never saw any elephant, domestic or wild,” he said.
He asked villagers to be careful of their farms and safety, expressing concern the elephant could “attack the children”.
But Chhay Duong Vibol, the Forestry Administration chief in the area, stressed the elephant had not caused any harm or significant damage and was likely scared and lost.
“We are chasing her and she is scared of us. She runs away, but does not attack,” he said. “This female looks like she lost her way or her herd.”
He added authorities did not want to capture the elephant – which is estimated to weigh more than 1,000 kilograms – but simply to monitor her to find her herd.
“When I tried to take a picture, she rushed at me, and I was scared and ran, dropping the telephone, which the elephant stepped on,” Duong Vibol said.
As of Monday afternoon, authorities had located the elephant in a valley of the mountain range, said Nga Pao, chief of the Banteay Chhmar protected area in Oddar Meanchey.
Pao’s officials would cooperate with border Military Police to track the elephant and would keep at a distance of at least 30 metres, he said.