Malaysian veterinarian injured by elephant in Cambodia

Malaysian veterinarian Dr Navaneetha Roopan being airlifted to a hospital at the Cambodian capital Phnom Peh after he was severely gored by a wild elephant during a conservation operation by WWF Cambodia- Pix courtesy Khemer Times

KOTA KINABALU: A 30-year-old Malaysian veterinarian working with WWF-Cambodia was severely injured after an elephant gored him during a conservation operation to place cameras on the animal.

Dr Navaneetha Roopan from Selangor suffered multiple injuries when the elephant tusked him from behind at a forest reserve area in Trapeang Metay in the MondulKiri province on Friday (March 31).

His condition remains serious but stable on Sunday (April 2) and he is being treated at a hospital in Phnom Penh.

He had used a tranquilliser dart on the elephant to facilitate placing a camera on the jumbo when the attack took place and suffered damage to his organs and fractures.

According to the Khmer Times, the veterinarian was initially taken by the WWF team to the Mondulkiri Provincial Referral Hospital before being airlifted by a helicopter for further treatment at Phnom Penh.

The report said that the veterinarian sprayed anaesthetic on the elephant to place a camera on its neck.

Dr Roopan was previously working with the Sabah Wildlife Department's wildlife rescue unit and had left last year to join WWF Cambodia.

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