An endangered Eld’s deer succumbed to injuries and exhaustion on Thursday afternoon after being pummelled by villagers in Preah Vihear’s Cheb district.
“It ran from the park because there is little forest left and because of hunting,” said Keo Kimlout, a district police officer.
The 50 kilogram deer ran out of the Russey Treb National Park to flee a hunter on Wednesday. Villagers in Cheb Keut village chased it down and knocked it unconscious to prevent the animal from injuring anyone with its antlers before handing it over, restrained, to forestry officials.
However, the animal died a day later, due to the head injuries it sustained during its capture, according to Cheb district Forestry Administration deputy chief Vong Viseth.
“The villagers surrounded and beat it until it fell unconscious once. When it woke up, it ran and fell into the water,” said Viseth. “It died because it received a severe head injury.”
Animals with dramatic horns or antlers such as the Eld’s deer are often hunted for decoration as well as meat, said Kong Kim Sreng, director of Cambodia’s terrestrial protected areas at the Environment Ministry.