Kaavan, 35, male elephant is due to be transported from Pakistan to the forest in a protected area in Cambodia later this month with coordination from CWS, said on Nov. 22 H.E. Neth Pheaktra, Secretary of State and Spokesperson for the Ministry of Environment.
“Cambodia thanks Pakistan government for this cooperation on the conservation of Asian elephant, rare species,” he underlined. “CITES authority of Cambodia of the Ministry of Agriculture already given the authorisation to transport Kaavan to Cambodia.”
The elephant handover reflects the good relations between the Government of Pakistan and the Royal Government of Cambodia as well as the potential of Cambodian natural forests, he said.
When he arrives in Cambodia, added H.E. Neth Pheaktra, Kaavan elephant will be transferred to forest in Kulen Prum Tep wildlife sanctuary in Oddar Meanchey province and be taken care by CWS and the Ministry of Environment.
“We will take care of Kaavan and after he familiarises with Cambodia forest, we will release him to forest and hope Kaavan enjoys the forest in Cambodia’s Wildlife sanctuaries,” he said.
Cambodia actually has between 400 to 600 individuals of Asian elephant living in protected area in cardamom and in northern of Cambodia (Mondulkiri, Rattanakiri), he pointed out.
According to the spokesperson, poaching over the last 30 years has decimated the elephant population in Cambodia. The levels of hunting have abated significantly over the last 10 years due to heavy law enforcement interventions. There has not been a reported incident of poaching in the Cardamom Landscape since 2003. A recent increase in elephant deaths within EPL (Eastern Plains Landscape) over the last several years, with 8 elephant carcasses found, some believed is associated with poaching.
Based on the ministry’s record, Cambodia currently has nearly 70 protected areas and biodiversity corridors, including national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, multi-use areas, Ramsar sites, and other conservation sites covering a total of 7.3 million hectares, or 41 percent of Cambodia’s land area.
Source: Agency Kampuchea Press