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

  • PM imposes nationwide Covid restrictions, curfew over Delta scare

    Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28 instructed the municipal and provincial authorities nationwide to strictly enforce Covid-19 measures including curfew for two weeks from July 29 midnight through August 12 to stem the new coronavirus Delta variant. The instruction came shortly after he issued a directive

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Provinces on Thai borders put in lockdown amid Delta fears

    The government has decided to place several border provinces in lockdown for two weeks in a bid to prevent the new coronavirus Delta variant spreading further into community. According a directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28, the provinces include Koh Kong,

  • Delta spreading in Kingdom

    Cambodia has so far detected more than 200 cases of the highly contagious coronavirus Delta variant, with 109 found on July 31 and August 1. The Ministry of Health has expressed deep concerns that the variant may have already reached communities and be spreading as some of the cases

  • US' Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines arrive

    The first batch of 455,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine donated by the US touched down in Phnom Penh on the morning of July 30. They are part of the total 1,060,100 doses the US has pledged to provide to Cambodia through the World Health Organisation-led (

  • China denies Mekong hacking

    As the US and its allies joined hands last week to expose what they allege to be China’s Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities around the world, the attention also turned to Cambodia with the US Department of Justice claiming that four