Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Baby elephant killed by snare in Mondulkiri

Baby elephant killed by snare in Mondulkiri

Authorities sit next to the carcass of an elephant in Mondulkiri province yesterday after it became ensnared in a trap. Photo supplied
Authorities sit next to the carcass of an elephant in Mondulkiri province yesterday after it became ensnared in a trap. Photo supplied

Baby elephant killed by snare in Mondulkiri

A baby elephant died yesterday after being found snared in a poacher’s trap in the jungle along the border of Orang and Keo Seyma districts in Mondulkiri province.

The death of the wild elephant, thought to be about a year old, raised a red flag for many conservation groups concerned with the ability of local authorities to protect the endangered species.

“This incident again highlights the need to increase efforts to reduce snaring, as the loss of one elephant is a major loss for the globally endangered Asian elephant,” said Un Chakrey of the World Wild Life Foundation in Cambodia, who said the use of snares had only increased despite law enforcement efforts.

Local authorities tried to rescue the baby elephant after villagers reported it trapped deep in the jungle over the weekend, said Meak Vuthy, an official at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). But officials were forced to make the long journey by foot as the jungle roads were unsuitable for driving.

It’s unclear how long the elephant was caught in the trap, but it died from a severe leg injury before it could be brought to Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary for treatment.

While experts agree the snare was likely not meant to trap elephants, they say such snares are ubiquitous throughout Cambodia’s jungles and endanger all types of wildlife.

“This is the problem with snares – they will catch and kill any animal, even if the poacher does not want to catch an elephant,” said Olly Griffin, a WCS technical adviser.

In response, conservation groups are working with the government to raise awareness about the risks of poaching.

Last Thursday, the World Wildlife Fund and the Ministry of Environment published a 76-page booklet aiming to educate the public about the dangers of poaching and the need to protect wildlife. According to the Mondulkiri Project, a regional elephant sanctuary, there are about 400 elephants living in the wild in Cambodia, 250 of which are in Mondulkiri.

“The death of any young animal is tragic,” added Griffin. “But especially when populations are low, as in Cambodia.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and