An elephant made from metal, including chainsaws seized during crackdowns on forestry crimes, has been completed and is scheduled to be displayed at the Sen Monorom Recreational Park in Mondulkiri province in the near future.
Neth Pheaktra, Environment Ministry spokesman, yesterday noted that it was assembled using 300 metal items, including chainsaws and parts of motorbikes that were seized during crackdowns, as well as confiscated animal traps.
“We will display the elephant so the public can see the chainsaws that were seized and collected by officers at the five wildlife sanctuaries in Mondulkiri province,” Mr Pheaktra said. “We want to show that chainsaws are tools being misused to commit forestry crimes.”
He said by displaying the elephant, authorities also hope to encourage people to join in efforts to protect wild elephants.
Mr Pheaktra noted that the Mondulkiri provincial environment department engaged an artisan in Kampong Speu province, who took seven months to assemble the work of art, noting that funding was sourced from donors and partner development organisations.
He said the piece is also to honour an elephant named Chhouk who was rescued from a hunters trap in the Trapeang Chhouk area, which is now part of the Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary in 2007.
Mr Pheaktra noted the animal lost one leg and was fitted with an artificial one made from metal.
Mr Pheaktra said Cambodia currently has more than 500 wild elephants and, according to a study, there are more than 375 elephants in the five wildlife sanctuaries in Mondulkiri province.