Bak Mai at Airavata Cambodia

Male ♂ Asian elephant Bak Mai at Airavata Cambodia

Bak Mai in August 2019. Photo: Dan Koehl
† Bak Mai
Alternative name:Bakmai
ID Number:
Species: Asian elephant
Sex and age:Male ♂, unknown Notice: Undefined variable: age in /customers/6/2/a/ on line 783 Notice: Undefined variable: age in /customers/6/2/a/ on line 786 maybe about years old (estimated age)
Dead date: 2020-05-22, Kat Tieng forest, Kat Tieng Water fall, Ratanakiri
Death reason: disease: Poisoned? collapsed, urine in blood, diarrhea
People killed:2: 1) 2016-09-19; killed his owner Mob Sreng, 45, goring him with his tusks, at Bousraa Waterfall,, Mondulkiri, Cambodia. 2) 2020-03-14; Blaimed by his mahout to have killed his mahouts nephew Heak Bio, 10, from Lum Phat district, Ratanakiri province.
Location:Airavata Cambodia
ArrivalAiravata Cambodia 2016-12-00
from Pulong elephant village
Pulong elephant village
from Mob Sreng
Born: unknown
Document updated2011-12-25: new record
2016-12-02: transfer
2018-04-24: corrected sex, selling price, mankiller
2020-03-19: killed a boy?
2020-05-22: reported dead
2016-09-19: Killed his owner Mob Sreng, 45, by reportedly goring him with his tusks.

After the September death of Mai’s older owner, the family of the man had wanted the elephant shot and its tusks sold for ivory, but police refused to shoot the elephant and the family agreed to sell the elephant to Airavata in Ratanakkiri province for $11,500.

In Ratanakiri, Bak Mai became rehabilitated, formed a nice relation with his new mahout Phlal, and soon became the favourite by his owner and visiting tourists, because of his nice character.

In February 2020 he mated the female Ikeo and showed hispotential as future breeder of younger fertile females.

2020-03-14: Unfortunately, daily routines were not followed this morning, and instead of bringing a second mahout, Bak Mais mahout brought a ten year old nephew with him to the forest in order to fetch Bak Mai to work. After the mahout climbed Bak Mai, the nephew started the motorbike, after which Bak Mai suddenly hit the boy against a tree, and the boy died later in hospital.

EDIT: later examination of the boys body gave indications he may hve not been killed by the elephant, but in motorbike accident, and the blame of the elephant could be a cover up.

2020-05-21: In the morning Bak mai collapsed, after being taken to the nearby river for drinking, with blood in the urine, and diarrhea. Efforts were made during th day to rise him up with a winch, but he collapsed again. Poisoning can not be exluded.

2020-05-22: died at 1.30

Sources, among others

  • Jack Highwood, Cambodia.
  • Pierre-Yves Clais, Cambodia

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