Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Juvenile elephant found dead in hole in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary

Juvenile elephant found dead in hole in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary

Community members and NGO staff pull a dead juvenile elephant from a hole in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary. Photo supplied
Community members and NGO staff pull a dead juvenile elephant from a hole in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary. Photo supplied

Juvenile elephant found dead in hole in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary

A young male elephant was found dead after getting stuck in a hole on Monday afternoon in Mondulkiri’s Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, according to officials.

Dem Buntoeun, the sanctuary’s director, said the 1-year-old elephant had already been removed, and the corpse was transported to the Ministry of Environment in Phnom Penh for study.

“We felt deep regret after obtaining the report from border military forces at O’Chum area saying that they encountered it dead because it was trapped in a hole surrounded by bamboo bushes,” he said.

At first, he said, they suspected the hole was a trap set by hunters, but upon inspection realised that the elephant had in fact stepped into a termite nest which collapsed, trapping the two hind legs of the pachyderm in a pit about one metre wide and a little over half a metre deep.

Given that the body had not begun to decompose, Bunteoun said, experts estimate that the 200-kilogram elephant likely died on Sunday night or early Monday morning.

Keo Sopheak, the Mondulkiri Environment Department director, said the elephant’s body would be taxidermied and put on display for the young generation to “study and research”.

According to the Wildlife Conservation Society some 250 to 500 globally endangered wild Asian elephants remain in the Kingdom, with no more than 115 individuals in the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary.

WCS Technical Advisor Tan Setha is quoted in a press release saying “Wild elephants in Cambodia are facing high risk due to habitat loss and snaring".

"To protect this species, we need to safeguard their natural habitat with the participation of all stake-holders, especially local authorities and communities to report information to the relevant authorities and conservation organizations whenever they encounter the elephants ... in bad condition,” he said.


  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Koh Rong land ‘belongs to firm’

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesperson Kheang Phearum told The Post on Sunday that the 35ha being bulldozed by Royal Group Co Ltd in Koh Rong belongs to it after it was leased to it for 99 years by the government in 2008. Phearum said the land does

  • Nine on Indonesia flight Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday confirmed nine more imported cases of Covid-19. The nine ‒ eight Cambodians and one Indonesian, aged 22 to 26 ‒ arrived in Cambodia on Thursday via a direct flight from Indonesia and are receiving treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hostipal in Phnom Penh.

  • Kingdom’s financial sector healthy

    Cambodia's financial sector remains on a sustainable growth path despite the Covid-19 pandemic squeezing crucial industries, National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto said. Tourism, garments and footwear have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 impact, he said, whereas the financial and agriculture sectors