A newborn elephant was rescued on Friday in Mondulkiri province in a state of severe malnutrition and is now being nursed back to health at a local sanctuary.

Provincial Department of Environment director Keo Sopheak said rangers spotted the calf which is no older than 10 days wandering in Sakrith Forest after having lost the herd.

Sopheak highlighted the calf’s poor health after many hours without access to water or food.

He said it likely became stranded from the herd as the animals migrated from Sakrith Forest to another location inside the Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary last week.

“The calf was dehydrated and emaciated. It was in terrible shape and could barely walk,” he said.

The calf, which has already spent three days in the care of rangers, is recovering slowly. The animal will be kept in the forest as rangers expect the herd to return for the stranded member.

“If the mother does not come back, we will ask Minister of Environment Say Sam Al for permission to take the elephant to our headquarters at the Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary,” he said.

On Wednesday, Ratanakkiri’s O’Yadav National Park rangers spotted a one-year-old wild elephant dead inside a stream near the border with Mondulkiri province.

O’Yadav National Park director Loeung Khemarak told The Post that the drowned animal was part of a herd of 20 to 30 elephants living along the border between Ratanakkiri province and Vietnam’s Dak Lak.

“The elephant had probably been dead for a week. Its leg was broken and had a string around the ankle. The elephant was probably caught in a trap laid by hunters,” Khemarak said.

He said it was buried at the bank of the river.

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