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Rangers rescue elephant cow from mud pit

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
Archive. KT/Mai Vireak

Park rangers in Mondulkiri province’s Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary yesterday rescued a wild elephant cow which had been stuck for hours after falling into a mud pit.

Lieutenant Colonel Mom Saroeun, Keo Seima district deputy police, said villagers saw the female elephant in distress in the morning and immediately informed authorities.

Rangers and provincial officials used a fire engine to pour water and soften the dried mud in the pit before widening it to allow the elephant to come out.

“We think the elephant might have been stuck since last night after going to drink water from the pit,” Lt Col Saroeun said. “But we managed to rescue her and she ran back into the forest.”

Khun Diyon, director of a local elephant conservation organisation in the province, said yesterday that he believed that the elephant was finding it difficult to find food or water in the forest and left it to find a nearby water source.

Late last month, a sickly female elephant calf was found abandoned in the province’s Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary and died despite efforts by park rangers to nurse her back to health.

A male elephant was also found dead in the river between the provinces of Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri last month.

According to a World Wildlife Fund Cambodia report, the Kingdom is currently considered as a refuge for the continued survival of the Asian elephant in Indochina.

The animal has been identified as an endangered species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s list.

The report said that Cambodia has provided shelter for 400 to 600 elephants whose numbers are depleting in neighbouring countries.

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