Home > Local News > Enraged elephant continues rampage

Enraged elephant continues rampage

The Phnom Penh Post
Residents in Mon Village in Kampong Speu province attempt to divert a
rampaging elephant named Sambo, who killed its owner last week and has
continued to terrorize the area. Photo by: Adam Miller
Kampong Speu province
Residents
of Mon village in Kampong Speu and wildlife experts urged government
action as a five-tonne elephant continued to terrorize the area after
trampling its owner to death on Friday.

The domesticated
elephant, named Sambo, fled the village last week and took refuge in a
nearby bamboo forest, leaving residents and local officials in a
quandary over what to do with the beast, which villagers say has killed
three other people.

Yim Neoun, the wife of the dead owner, said
she had no idea why the elephant had attacked her husband and that
villagers were terrified of it.

Jack Highwood, head of the NGO
Elephants Livelihood Initiative Environment who runs an elephant
sanctuary in Mondulkiri province, said Sambo posed a genuine threat to
villagers’ safety and property during a visit to the area to assess the
status of the elephant.

He said Sambo has been on a rampage
through the area and that villagers had responded by shooting
fireworks, throwing rocks and chasing it with sticks and knives in an
attempt to keep it from damaging their property.

“This is an
insane situation. There are 300 or more villagers scattered around the
elephant in all directions, and the elephant is actively hunting them,”
he said.

“He knows his territory and knows how to find people,
and he can run about 50 metres in seconds. This is a nightmare. He
wants to kill people.”

Geoffroy de Gentile Duquesne, a former
professional hunter in Africa who now runs an ecotourism company in
Cambodia, said Sambo was extremely dangerous and unpredictable.

“In the more than 22 years I’ve been working with elephants, I’ve never seen an elephant behave that way.”

Highwood
said the elephant was far too dangerous at the moment to take to his
sanctuary in Mondulkiri, as was originally planned, because its
unpredictable behaviour would make it too difficult to rehabilitate.

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Categories: Local News
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