Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Elephant death leads to extinction concerns

Elephant death leads to extinction concerns

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A 53-year-old male elephant named Kham Khen died on Sunday from chronic abscess disease on his back. Mondulkiri Information Department

Elephant death leads to extinction concerns

A local Elephant conservation organisation in Mondulkiri province has expressed concern about the declining domestic elephant population after a 53-year-old male pachyderm named Kham Khen died on Sunday from chronic abscess disease on his back.

“Since 2017, the number of domestic elephants in Mondulkiri decreased subsequently and so far the breeding of domestic elephants in Cambodia has not been successful,” said Khun Dlyon, director of the elephant conservation organisation Elephant Livelihood Initiative Environment.

Dlyon said a survey carried out by his organisation found eight elephants to have died since 2017.

Five domestic elephants died in 2017. Three died of illness, another was shot by authorities when it charged villagers and another from Mondulkiri province died after falling into a pit in Snuol district in Kratie province.

Two more elephants died in 2018. One was sick and the other died as its owner didn’t provide food when it was in rut (displaying behaviour associated with the urge to breed).

There were 70 domestic elephants in Mondulkiri province 20 years ago, according to Dlyon. But indigenous peoples do not allow domestic elephants to breed. Ageing and disease have resulted in a series of deaths and only 38 elephants remain.

“After the death of Kham Khen, the number of domestic elephants in Mondulkiri has dropped to 37 and could lead to the extinction of elephants in that area if there is no protection and conservation, and if the villagers continue to adhere to the beliefs of their ancestors,” he said.

Mondulkiri provincial environment department director Keo Sopheak said not allowing domestic elephants to reproduce naturally would risk their extinction. He said the number of remaining domestic elephants is less than 40, and some of them are too old to breed.

“We are encouraging elephant owners to engage in conservation by letting their elephants breed naturally and stop using them as transportation,” he said.

Kham Khen’s funeral was held on Wednesday by its owner Chreum Chrun and his family, as well as the villagers, following their traditions and beliefs, said Krang Tes commune police chief Yoem Ban.

“According to the beliefs of Bunong indigenous people, the funeral of an elephant is the same as the funeral of a person.

“The funeral ceremony is three days and three nights according to ethnic traditions. The carcass of the elephant will be buried near their home with a proper fence around the grave,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Hun Sen gets Covid, shuns G20, APEC summits

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said he has tested positive for Covid-19 in Indonesia, where he is slated to attend the G20 summit in his capacity of the ASEAN chair. In a social media post addressing the Cambodian public, he said: “Before leaving Cambodia, I always

  • Moody’s sets outlook rating to ‘negative’ for Cambodia

    US global rating agency Moody’s Investors Service Inc on November 15 announced that it downgraded Cambodia’s outlook from “stable” to “negative” and maintained its B2 local and foreign currency issuer ratings. “The negative outlook reflects a deteriorating external position as illustrated by the severe

  • Korean first lady paves way for ill boy’s surgery

    A 14-year-old boy with congenital heart disease who was lucky enough to meet with South Korean first lady Kim Keon-hee may get the chance of a lifetime and receive surgery and treatment at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea. After seeing his plight, many

  • Hun Sen’s Covid infection caused by ‘weakened antibody’ after summit

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said exhaustion from heavy workload before and during the recent ASEAN Summit may have led to him contracting Covid-19 due to his weakened immune system, while rejecting speculations that the infection was caused by leaders of some countries who did not

  • Kingdom’s rice crowned world’s No1

    Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety has been crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the TRT (The Rice Trader) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand on November 17, according to leaders of the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body. Phka Rumduol