Wildlife book looks to put dent in poaching

Juvenile and adult Asian elephants photographed by a camera trap in Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary in 2009. WWF Cambodia

Bun Sengkong, The Phnom Penh Post
Fri, 22 July 2016

World Wildlife Fund for Cambodia and the Ministry of Environment launched a glossy, 76-page picture booklet about the Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary in Mondulkiri province yesterday, with the goal of educating the public about the benefits of protecting wildlife and countering poaching.

The booklet, which took more than a year to produce, highlights in photos and text rare and endangered species in the sanctuary. It also features the tiger, which the NGO plans to reintroduce into the Eastern Plains Landscape.

WWF-Cambodia printed 500 books in Khmer and 300 in English, which will be distributed to schools, universities and state institutions, according to spokesman Un Chakrey. He added that the NGO planned to print more copies, but did not know when.

“It is very important to know which protected areas have which natural resources. The Ministry of Environment has done a lot, but the dissemination is still limited,” said Kong Kim Sreng, head of terrestrial protected areas at the ministry. “The launch of the Phnom Prich profile today shows the public as well as other institutions what kind of animals are left in each area.” (more…)

Posted on: July 21, 2016 9:17 pm

‘Tourist’ elephant dies after collapse at Angkor

An elephant lies on the ground in Siem Reap last week after it passed away from a heart attack caused by heat and exhaustion. Photo supplied

Thik Kaliyann and Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon
The Phnom Penh Post, Mon, 25 April 2016

A female elephant named Sambo, trained to carry tourists at Angkor Wat, collapsed and died on Friday morning near Bakheng Mountain in the archaeological park.

The 40-to-45-year-old elephant had worked for the Angkor Elephant Company since 2001, according to manager Oan Kiri, who said the company was saddened by the loss.

According to Kiri, Sambo died after taking two trips from Bayon Temple to Bakheng, having walked about 40 minutes, collapsing shortly after bringing a pair of tourists to Bayon.

“After our veterinarian checked . . . we concluded that she died of heart attack due to high temperatures and lack of wind,” he said. Siem Reap recorded a high of 40 degrees Celsius on Friday.

A Facebook post showing photos of Sambo on the ground has been shared over 8,000 times. A change.org petition calling for the end of elephant riding in Angkor went online shortly thereafter and has garnered more than 10,000 signatures.

Apsara Authority spokeswoman Chau Sun Kerya declined to comment.

Jack Highwood of the Elephant Valley Project, said in an email that the Angkor elephant company’s 13 remaining individuals represent the largest concentration of captive elephants in the Kingdom and that work conditions should be regulated “if working Cambodia’s last remaining elephants is what Cambodia actually wants to do”.

Posted on: April 24, 2016 9:31 pm