A wild elephant lies dead after being electrocuted after running into a utility pole yesterday in Preah Sihanouk province, triggering a blackout in the area. Photo supplied
Niem Chheng, The Phnom Penh Post Thu, 23 March 2017
A wild elephant was electrocuted when it leaned against a power pole yesterday in Preah Sihanouk, triggering a black out in the area.
The male pachyderm, one of only five believed left in an area taken over by farming, died with burns to its feet, thigh and head in the village of Stung Chral in Kampong Seila’s O’Bakrotes commune.
“It leaned its body against the electricity pole . . . causing the pole to fall,” said Kong Kimsreng, director of Natural Protected Area in the southern part of the Tonle Sap lake.
“It might have been angry because the area was a jungle in the past, but later the people transformed the area into farms.”
The carcass will be transported to and buried at Tamao Mountain. It was possible the bones be used for study or an exhibition, he said.
“We will arrange a ritual that can be a message for the people and youths to understand about the importance of wild animals to make them love wild animals,” Kimsreng said.
Commune police chief Iet Virak determined the time of death – midnight – by the blackout that occurred at that time. He said villagers had reported that five elephants were left in the region and that the one that died was the largest male.
It’s not the first time an elephant has knocked over a an electricity pole nearby. (more…)
CMAC officials pose with a recently discovered M117 bomb weighing over 300 kilograms in Kampong Speu yesterday. Photo supplied
Khouth Sophak Chakrya and Ananth Baliga The Phnom Penh Post, Wed, 8 March 2017
The Cambodian Mine Action Centre yesterday retrieved and neutralised a massive M117 bomb from Kampong Speu province’s Prek Kmeng commune, and safely detonated four smaller bombs found in Preah Sihanouk province on the same day.
CMAC chief Heng Ratana said the group had been alerted about the 350-kilogram bomb by villagers late Friday evening and were only able to reach the site yesterday.
“It was reported by the villagers, who were trying to dig a hole for a pond,” he said. “Our team has cleared it now.”
He added that the M117, a US-made bomb used extensively during the Vietnam War, was rarely found in Cambodia, with the MK82 more routinely unearthed.
Ratana said there was a risk for villagers who were increasingly using excavators to dig holes, which could increase the chances of an explosion. (more…)
An official inspects the carcass of a critically endangered royal turtle that was killed by illegal electro-fishing equipment last week. Photo supplied
Khouth Sophak Chakrya and Andrew Nachemson The Phnom Penh Post, Fri, 17 February 2017
An extremely rare adult female Royal Turtle – one of 10 breeding females believed left in the wild – was found dead in Koh Kong’s Sre Ambel River last week, likely killed by illegal fishing methods, the World Conservation Society (WCS) said yesterday.
A press release put out by the group said the 11-year-old female turtle was found with wounds consistent with electro-fishing.
The Royal Turtle “is one of the world’s most endangered turtles and faces numerous threats to its survival”, the release states, listing sand dredging and illegal fishing as primary threats. (more…)
Mak Samoeurn plucks ripe oranges from his orange plantation in Battambang province. Heng Chivoan
Cheng Sokhorng, The Phnom Penh Post Fri, 10 February 2017
Orange farmer Say Samoeurth has been battling an invisible foe. He rarely sees his adversary, a tiny insect known as the Asian citrus psyllid, but wherever it goes this winged pest leaves behind a trail of destruction.
Most of the 1,000 orange trees that Samoeurth planted on his 2-hectare farm have been affected, with a bacteria transmitted by the sap-sucking insect stunting their growth and causing their leaves to turn colour and fall off. Some of defoliated trees still bear fruit, but its green, mottled appearance and bitter flavour prevents its sale in the market.
Samoeurth, who has been growing oranges on his land since 1996, said he first learned of the link between the psyllid and “citrus greening disease” from government agriculture officials. But no solutions were offered, and their advice was simply to cut down the orchard and plant something else.
Having invested his life savings into his orchard, the 52-year-old citrus farmer is reluctant to give up. Instead, he has sunk more money into his dying farm, uprooting the infected trees and transplanting new ones. (more…)