Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rare gaur dies during rescue operation




Rare gaur dies during rescue operation

A rare gaur that was accidentally killed by a conservation team in Preah Sihanouk province.
A rare gaur that was accidentally killed by a conservation team. Photo supplied

Rare gaur dies during rescue operation

A rare gaur that gored a teenage boy last month in Preah Sihanouk province drowned Friday night after it was tranquilised during a failed rescue operation.

The conservation team from Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center shot the animal with tranquiliser darts on Friday evening after responding to requests from authorities in Prey Nop district’s Teuk Thla commune, said Pin Lyvon, deputy director of the centre.

The endangered animal then ran one kilometre into the forest, with the conservation team in pursuit. Because of the uneven terrain, and threat of injury from the gaur, authorities were unable to catch the drugged animal before it fell into a reservoir in Bokor National Park in Kampot province and drowned, Lyvon said.

“We are very sorry that when we tried to help, we could not save it,” he said. The gaur was transported to the wildlife centre for burial on Saturday morning, Lyvon said.

The gaur had visited Teuk Thla commune at least twice before, and nearly killed a teenage boy last month. Nick Marx, director of the centre, said he wished the gaur had been saved, but the first concern was to mitigate the threat of a wild animal that he described as “more dangerous than a tiger”.

He expects similar run-ins between humans and wildlife to rise due to pressure from hunting snares and deforestation, which is threatening habitats.

“The forest is going, so the wild have to go somewhere, and they come into contact with people,” he said.

Ke Pha, Preah Sihanouk provincial head of agriculture, said he regretted the death of a rare animal, but he did not blame wildlife officials for the incident. “The geographical location is difficult with dense forests and a water reservoir up on the mountain, and the route on the mountain is not smooth and easy to travel as well,” he said. “Therefore, it is hard for us to blame them and we do not want to do that, but we regret it.”

Additional reporting by Danielle Keeton-Olsen

MOST VIEWED

  • First Khmer woman to pass out of West Point

    The life of a soldier certainly isn’t for everyone. The training is gruelling, the hours long and there’s no room for excuses. On top of that, soldiers must be ready to respond to sudden threats at a moment’s notice. Just ask Sithyka

  • Tourists urged not to skip trip

    The Ministry of Tourism has called on international tourists not to cancel trips to Cambodia, but urged them to adhere to several dos and don’ts when arriving in the Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry released an eight-point instruction manual on Wednesday published

  • The taxman cometh – Cambodia’s capital gains tax casts the net on individual taxpayers

    In a country where only limited personal income tax existed, the new taxation law beginning January 1, 2021, will make taxpayers out of Cambodians, whether they are ready for it or not About two years ago, a little known amendment was made to Article 7 of the Law

  • Cambodian-American gets Star Trek treatment

    Kevin Ung, a Cambodian-American whose family escaped genocide during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, was recently selected from thousands of applicants to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s inaugural 2020 Star Trek Command Training Programme, a course intended to give hands-on filmmaking experience

  • Cambodia seeks to be transport hub

    Cambodia is working on several fronts to modernise its transport infrastructure and services, concentrating on opening new international gates to relieve and balance traffic congestion at its borders, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Thursday. This is part of the Kingdom’

  • Deminers unearth ancient lion statue

    Cambodia Mine Action Centre (CMAC) director-general Heng Ratana told The Post on Tuesday that a statue of a lion was found by mine clearance experts while they were digging for a development project. It was sent to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts last