Cambodian police on Friday killed a rampaging male elephant that trampled its trainer to death earlier this week and destroyed several houses, a local environmental group said.
The captive male elephant, believed to be between 30 and 40 years old, had been loose since Wednesday, when he trampled Choeung Tieng, 45, to death in the forest in Mondulkiri province.
Jemma Bullock, programme manager for the non-profit Elephant Livelihood Initiative Environment (ELIE) said that the police were called to the scene and unfortunately the decision was made after they fired warning shots to take him down
“With a very, very difficult situation, the police were called to the scene and sadly the decision was made after they fired warning shots to take him down.
“A team from ELIE had been dispatched on Thursday to tranquillise the elephant, but he proved too difficult to control.
“We did observation of the elephant and determined it was not possible to recapture the elephant by ourselves because he was clearly in a highly aggressive state,’’ Bullock told newsmen.
Bullock said the elephant left the forest on Thursday and began charging motorbikes before heading towards the local village.
She said authorities were able to scare him off with fireworks, but he returned to the village at night, after the ELIE team had left, and destroyed three houses.
A captive female elephant that ran away with the male elephant was recaptured.
Bullock, while the spark for the rampage remains unknown, said the bull likely was in musth, a state of extreme aggression experienced by male elephants. (dpa/NAN)