The Khmer Rouge Regime left behind a war-torn nation where everything had to be rebuilt from the ground up. To sustain Cambodia’s rapid economic revival, vast expanses of forest and their resources have been sacrificed in exchange for the development of agriculture, and short term gains for some.
This widespread deforestation is the greatest long term threat to the future of Elephants in Cambodia. Habitat destruction has created pockets of isolation for certain wild elephants, where their run-ins with encroaching human populations have seen them treated as pests rather than endangered animals.
However, in stark contrast to the captive population’s decline, the wild population is reported to be stable. The key to the specie’s survival in Cambodia, therefore, lies in the wild.