By Mengey Eng
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| January 08, 2018
Mondulkiri (09 January 2018) – A young male wild elephant, age about one year old, was found dead trapped in a hole in O’Am village, Sre Ktum commune, Keo Seima district, Mondulkiri Province inside the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary (KSWS). It is a tragedy for wildlife conservation in Cambodia that requires strong conservation efforts to conserve the species from future extinct.
Listed as Globally Endangered, Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) are some of the largest mammals on the planet, but have a declining global population. As estimate, there are about 250-500 wild elephants in Cambodia, while fewer than 115 individuals are in KSWS.
“We really regret that we could not save this young elephant, but the location is deep inside the forest and we did not receive information in time. As field observation, this elephant might had been stuck for some time, and probably died on the night of the 7th,” said Tan Setha, WCS’s Technical Advisor to KSWS.
“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 stakeholders, especially local authorities and communities to report information to the relevant authorities and conservation organizations whenever they encounter the elephants are in bad condition,” he added.
WCS, in collaboration with Government of Cambodia through Ministry of Environment (MoE) and the Department of Environment (DoE) and local communities, has been conserving the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary for over 15 years. KSWS is one of the most important sites for Asian elephants in Cambodia and supports other important wildlife populations. Elephant conservation work in KSWS is supported by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.