Killer Elephant Sighted, Tracked in Mondolkiri

A male elephant who fatally trampled his owner on Wednesday and ran into a forest in Mondolkiri province was sighted in a nearby village on Thursday and today a team of experts today will attempt to catch it using a tranquilizer gun.

The animal was out for a walk with tourists when he attacked and trampled his mahout, 45-year-old Choeung Tieng.

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A bull elephant flees into the forest shortly after it trampled its mahout to death in Mondolkiri province on Wednesday. (Mondolkiri Provincial Police)

Jemma Bullock, program manager for the Elephant Livelihood Initiative Environment, said the elephant’s actions may have been due to the fact that it is the rutting season and he was ready to mate.

The bull ran into the forest near Katang village in Sen Monorom City’s Romnea commune with a female elephant after the attack.

“When he came closer to the female elephant, he showed the sign [of being in musth],” the aggressive behavior bull elephants exhibit around mating season, said Ms. Bullock.

“He is still angry,” she added.

Keo Sopheak, head of the provincial environment department, said an operation to recapture the two animals would begin again today.

Ms. Bullock said a team was arriving with a tranquilizer.

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