Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Elephant electrocuted, causing 12am blackout



Elephant electrocuted, causing 12am blackout

A wild elephant lies dead after being electrocuted after running into a utility pole yesterday in Preah Sihanouk province, triggering a blackout in the area. Photo supplied
A wild elephant lies dead after being electrocuted after running into a utility pole yesterday in Preah Sihanouk province, triggering a blackout in the area. Photo supplied

Elephant electrocuted, causing 12am blackout

A wild elephant was electrocuted when it leaned against a power pole yesterday in Preah Sihanouk, triggering a black out in the area.

The male pachyderm, one of only five believed left in an area taken over by farming, died with burns to its feet, thigh and head in the village of Stung Chral in Kampong Seila’s O’Bakrotes commune.

“It leaned its body against the electricity pole . . . causing the pole to fall,” said Kong Kimsreng, director of Natural Protected Area in the southern part of the Tonle Sap lake.

“It might have been angry because the area was a jungle in the past, but later the people transformed the area into farms.”

The carcass will be transported to and buried at Tamao Mountain. It was possible the bones be used for study or an exhibition, he said.

“We will arrange a ritual that can be a message for the people and youths to understand about the importance of wild animals to make them love wild animals,” Kimsreng said.

Commune police chief Iet Virak determined the time of death – midnight – by the blackout that occurred at that time. He said villagers had reported that five elephants were left in the region and that the one that died was the largest male.

It’s not the first time an elephant has knocked over a an electricity pole nearby.

“The elephants usually pass by the area. Last year, an elephant leaned his body against electricity poles and four poles fell,” Virak said

Electricity workers had built fences around those about a kilometre from the latest incident and officials would look again at measures to protect the poles – and the elephants.

Nick Marx, director of wildlife rescue and care for NGO Wildlife Alliance, said preserving forests was key to save animals.

“As people intrude into the forest, and cut them down, obviously animals that live there will move on, [and] will come in contact with humans,” he said.

“It’s extremely difficult once elephants realise that humans grow tasty foods in their farms,” he said. “It’s better if they never know.”

Additional reporting by Leonie Kijewski

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Hun Sen: Lakes filled in for national developments

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced continued operations to fill some lakes in Phnom Penh to create land for developments, though he is against the unrelated practice of damming rivers or blocking waterways. Speaking at the inauguration of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport

  • Koh Preus upgrades 70% complete

    Initial construction of a nearly $30 million tourism infrastructure project on Preah Sihanouk province’s Koh Preus Island is “about 70 per cent complete”, according to an official with the developer. Heng Thou, construction site manager of Angela Real Estate Co Ltd (ARE), told The Post that

  • Local media loses a giant, and The Post a great friend

    Cheang Sokha, a gifted and streetwise reporter who rose to the highest ranks of Cambodian media and was beloved for his sharp intelligence, world-class humour and endless generosity, died on Friday in his hometown of Phnom Penh. He was 42. His wife, Sok Sophorn, said he

  • Cambodia, India agree to start direct flights, tourism exchanges

    Cambodia and India have agreed to start direct flight connections and promote closer tourism exchanges and cooperation in all areas after the Covid-19 saga comes to a close. The agreement was reached during a meeting between Cambodian Minister of Tourism Thong Khon and newly-minted Indian