Conservation, Animal Wellbeing, and Indigenous Participation at an Elephant Sanctuary in Mondulkiri, Cambodia

Helen Kopnina, Liv Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article focuses on the intersection of indigenous peoples, conservation, and elephant wellbeing in Cambodia. While social justice advocates emphasize the human cost of conservation in human-animal conflicts, those concerned with animal protection and rights have problematized the treatment of elephants. This critique stems from evidence that the human relationship to elephants, captive and wild, remains largely utilitarian or exploitive. In Cambodia, there is a record of wild Asian elephants coexisting with local communities, but more so a long history of elephants used for labor. This article discusses the possible areas of reconciliation between human and Asian elephant interests at a Mondulkiri elephant sanctuary in Cambodia, suggesting potential paths toward win-win scenarios for the local and indigenous people, as well as for the elephants and their habitats.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalSociety & Animals
Early online date8 May 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 May 2023
Externally publishedYes

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