Map above: Elephant distribution (yellow) in Cambodia. Source: Fauna and Flora International, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
2011: The present numbers of wild elephants has been correlated to DNA studies of feaces, a project supported by Fauna and Flora International, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
2006: surveys that collected DNA from elephant dung in Seima Protection Forest revealed a population of approximately 116 animals within the protected area — but not a single elephant was seen during the study.
1999: 500-1000 (Osborn and Vinton, 1999)
1995: 2 000 (Kemf and Jackson, 1995)
2021: It is estimated that about 300 elephants live in the protected areas of Mondulkiri province, and some of these are trans-boundary, moving hence and forth between Mondulkiri and Yok Don, in Dak Lak, Vietnam. Theres elephants in two locations in Ratanakiri province, some 30 elephants in Ou Ya Dav National Park, and some more in Stoeng ta pok close to Ta Veng. Close to D’dar Poom Chop in Virachey National Park, a small group of elephants were reported by Gregory Edward McCann, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, in 2016, who seems to be a a trans-boundary herd, migrating hence and forth to Laos.
Traditionally, the Bunong people of northern Cambodia capured, tamed and trained elephants, who was then keptas beats of burden, or sold to tribes like the Brau people.
During the Pol Pot regime, a lot of elephants were confiscated by the Khmer Roughe but some of the tame elephants reverted to a wild state. Very few wild elephants were captured during the period 1980 to 2000, according to local people in Mondulkiri.
2011: 121 captive elephants (Jack Highwood, 2011)
Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri
In l999, Mondulkiri provincial DFW officials recorded 93 elephants, but by 2000 the number had declined to 83 elephants. These ten elephants lost between 1999 and 2000 were in fact sent to Siem Reap. According to the last double check conducted by Mondulkiri DFW in June to July 2001, 91 domesticated elephants were recorded. Others were possibly sold to Thailand and Viet Nam between l999 and 2000. During this period, six calf elephants were captured, ranging in age from 6 months to five years old, according to provincial DFW sources.(FAO) At Catieng water fall, outside Banlung in Ratanakiri, 3 elephants remain.