1. Saving animals from exploitation
Cambodia, being a tropical country, has a wide variety of wildlife species in its habit. Unfortunately, like many other countries, with the changes in natural landscape many animals are in risk of extinction. The incredible Wildlife Centre in Phnom Tamao gives travellers an opportunity to witness a project which is saving hundreds of animals from exploitation. A setting where animals are treated properly is surely an experience not to be missed.
A rescued elephant on her morning stroll with the caretaker.
2. What can you expect at “Phnom Tamao Wildlife Centre”
The Wildlife centre is also portrayed as a zoo in order to attract Khmer audience. After being rescued the animals are now recovering from being
- Exotic Pets, which is illegal in Cambodia to have endangered animas at home.
- Trapped on illegal snares setup by hunters which harm them to a great extent (for instance there is an elephant on site that lost his leg due to these traps)
- Exploited in zoo’s or other businesses with terrible conditions (e.g. tourism-based businesses where they are beaten up to stay calm for the tourists)
- Traded in the black market in order to harvest parts of their body for traditional medicines
- Rescued from human-to-animal conflicts arising out in local villages.
Lucky, a very happy female elephant enjoying some treats from visitors such as pineapple, corn or peanuts.
3. Interactions with the friendly Animals
While interacting with the animals visitors can learn more about their lifestyle and current situation in terms of risk of extinction. Visitors have a chance to be independent or book a tour which would directly support the cause. Leopards, gibbons, bears, monkeys, tigers, otters… the list is huge!
A caretaker cleaning a prosthetic leg for Chhouk, a male elephant that lost his leg to an illegal hunting snare.
They also have tours available in the province of Koh Kong. Here you can stay in their main release center (more info here), and visit their ecotourism project in the village of Chi Phat where home stay is a great option. There are many activities such as trekking, mountain biking and boat tours, enjoy beautiful nature, rainforest and waterfalls, breath some fresh air and enrich your trip with an authentic experience! Check here for more info on this.
If heading out north, they also have a wildlife release center near Angkor Wat, in Siem Reap. Have a look at their website for more info.
A cute gibbon looking for some human touch.
If you are in Phnom Penh, take a break from the city and visit their wildlife center in Phnom Tamao! It is just on the outskirts of the city, in Takeo province.