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

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has given the green light for anyone who contracts the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron mutation or any other variant to convalesce or receive treatment at home or in any other reasonable non-healthcare setting. The new decision supersedes a restriction on home care for

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42