Elephant dies from exhaustion after decades carrying tourists to Cambodia's Angkor Wat

The animal had been working for 40 minutes in searing heat before she collapsed

Matt Payton
Monday 25 April 2016 17:28 BST
Sambo the elephant was thought to be between 40 and 45 years-old
Sambo the elephant was thought to be between 40 and 45 years-old

An elephant has died from exhaustion after years of carrying tourists to the famed Cambodian temple complex of Angkor Wat.

Sambo, who was believed to be 40-45 years old, died from a heart attack while ferrying two tourists to the temple.

The female elephant had been working for 40 minutes in the searing heat before she collapsed, according to the Daily Mail.

A veterinarian examined the elephant, determining it died "due to high temperatures, heat exhaustion and lack of wind that would have helped to cool her".

Passers-by were reported to have cried on seeing the collapsed beast.

The Angkor Wat temple complex is a popular tourist destination in northwest Cambodia

Sambo had been working for the Angkor Elephant Company since 2001, with manager Oan Kiri saying: "We're all very sad to have lost her."

Jack Highwood, who runs the Elephant Valley Project charity, said: "Conditions should be regulated, if working Cambodia’s last remaining elephants is what Cambodia actually wants to do."

Mr Highwood added that the Angkor Elephant Company has 13 remaining animals, which is currently largest concentration of captive elephants in Cambodia.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in