Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Wild elephants destroy crops in Mondulkiri

Wild elephants destroy crops in Mondulkiri

Banana trees damaged by a herd of wild elephants in Mondulkiri's Monorom commune, with their footprints still visible in the dirt. Facebook
Banana trees damaged by a herd of wild elephants in Mondulkiri's Monorom commune, with their footprints still visible in the dirt. Facebook

Wild elephants destroy crops in Mondulkiri

A herd of 15 wild elephants living in the forest in Mondulkiri province's Sen Monorom district are eating crops and destroying property, according to villagers, who have called on the authorities and wildlife NGOs to help drive the herd away.

According to local authorities, the elephants have destroyed cassava crops and hundreds of banana, cashew, jackfruit and mango trees in his commune over the course of a few days, mostly near Andoung Kralueng village.

“They came and destroyed our crops in the night time, and in the early morning they move to the jungle,” Monorom Commune Police Chief Srev Thet said, adding that the elephants had destroyed a dozen fruit trees on his own farm, as well as a cottage and a mechanical water pump.

Khang Soeung, a biodiversity officer at the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, said he was unable to confirm the number of elephants in the herd but said he and his team are working with Wildlife Conservation Society officers to deploy motion-activated cameras in the villagers' farms close to where the elephants are staying.

The elephants moved into the area on Friday and raided the village for food several nights in a row, according to Soeung. They also came into the village Monday night but left without destroying any crops or attacking any homes, he added.

Large footprints left behind by a herd of wild elephants that has been raiding villages in Mondulkiri's Sen Monorom commune over the past few days to eat crops. Facebook
Large footprints left behind by a herd of wild elephants that has been raiding villages in Mondulkiri's Sen Monorom commune over the past few days to eat crops. Facebook

Andoung Kralueng Village Chief Phy Tel said the elephants are residing now in the forest just a few hundred metres from the village.

“Our crops will be destroyed completely and our villagers face problems in their day to day lives if the herd of wild elephants continues to stay in the area, raiding to eat our crops at night time,” he said.

Experts believe roughly 300 or more elephants live in Mondulkiri, according to Jackson Frechette, Fauna and Flora International’s flagship species manager in Cambodia.

Human encroachment on elephant territory can trigger aggression, and “human-elephant conflict is quite common globally”, Frechette said.

Additional reporting by Daphne Chen

MOST VIEWED

  • WHO: Covid in Cambodia goes into new phase

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia said that Cambodia has reached a new phase of the pandemic with “decreasing case numbers, high vaccination coverage and a more transmissible circulating variant threatening a hidden surge”. In a press release on September 6, the WHO said that

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • 'Pursue your goals, reach out to me': Young diplomat tapped as envoy to South Korea

    Chring Botum Rangsay was a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation before being designated as the new Cambodian ambassador to South Korea. According to her official CV published on the foreign ministry’s website, she started her first government

  • International air visitor arrivals dip 93%

    The number of foreign tourists entering Cambodia through the Kingdom’s three international airports witnessed a sharp 92.5 per cent year-on-year decline in the first seven months of this year, according to the Ministry of Tourism. The airports handled 51,729 international tourists in the January-July period versus

  • School reopening ‘offers model for other sectors’

    World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Cambodia Li Ailan said school reopening process should be used as a role model for reopening other sectors currently mothballed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Li strongly supports the government’s decision to reopen schools, saying it is a decision

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.