Phnom Penh (FN), Feb. 25 - An elephant body was found dead with its tusks and tail sliced off in a cashew farm of local people located in Mondulkiri’s Keo Seima district, according to Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra on Monday.
Following the forensics, authority confirmed that the two-ton elephant was hunted down by poacher with a bullet to the head, the spokesman added.
Over the past three years, three elephant died due to hunting and aging. The Ministry of Environment has appealed to all citizens to participate in the protection and conservation of elephants in Cambodia, particularly poachers to stop hunting.
According to the spokesman, approximately 170 elephants live in Mondulkiri Protected Forest, a 3,700 square kilometer protected forest in eastern Cambodia established in 1999. He added that there are about 500 elephants nationwide.
Neth Pheaktra claimed that Cambodia has approximately 7.5 million hectares of protected areas, an equivalent to 41% of the total area.
Elephant tusks are used by humans to produce ivory, which is used in artifacts and jewellery; Cambodian people traditionally use the elephant’s tail to make a ring, believing that it will make the wearer lucky.
Cambodia's General Department of Customs in collaboration with the US Embassy in Phnom Penh, in late December, cracked down 1,026 pieces of elephant ivory tusks exported from Mozambique to Phnom Penh.