Cambodia’s forests harbored in the 1990′s, when the country was at the gates of the end of a long and bloody civil war, more than two thousand copies of the elephants. Yet today, when people receive the dividends of that peace and urban development, there are only 400 elephants, due to abuse of which have been part of the population.
“For many years in villages has been persecuted and killed the elephants because they saw them as a threat to their crops and homes,” said Tuy Sereivathana, director of the Khmer Group Elephant Conservation.
The elephant approached a village to find food that will satisfy hunger waiting fatal traps made of bamboo tapered, and even acid-throwing farmers causing serious injury, explains agronomist in 2010 was awarded the Goldman Prize, considered the Nobel of the Environment. This group, associated with the NGO Fauna and Flora International, got some time to stabilize the number of individuals with awareness programs in rural areas living in some copies.
However, the country’s economic development, where builders are competing for a span of land, is now the main enemy of these animals who are deprived of natural habitat and food and water they need to survive in an environment increasingly hostile. Most of the remaining elephants in Cambodia live in the provinces of Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri in the northeast, and in the Cardamom Mountains, located to the south, two regions where mining projects threaten the country’s last forests. The development of these areas, even among the least advanced country, has further increased the value of the meter of soil and motivated the interest of national and foreign companies that seek to expand their business. This has intensified illegal logging, a business already profitable, to dispose of land to sell or grow.