A rare Cambodian elephant has finally been caught on video.
The footage was taken in August by photographer Allan Michaud for the Wildlife Conservation Society, who say it’s the first high-quality video of an Asian elephant in Cambodia.
Michaud filmed the adult male in the Seima Forest, a Rhode Island–sized sanctuary along the country’s border with Vietnam.
Newly protected by Cambodia’s government and the WCS, the forest is home to some of Asia’s rarest creatures: tigers, forest bison, langurs and, of course, elephants. But decades of war and instability, followed by contemporary threats from poaching and development, have spooked the gentle, highly social creatures.
From their droppings, a 2006 survey of Seima’s elephants counted 116, but without actually seeing a single animal. Most photos have come from camera traps. According to WCS researcher Edward Pollard, the video is “visual confirmation that Seima is vitally important for biodiversity.”
And for those people less moved by biodiversity than life, it’s a rare glimpse of a magnificent animal.
Video: Allan Michaud, Wildlife Conservation Society.
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