When we first arrived in Kampot, Teuk Chhou Zoo was a typical Asian-style zoo displaying a variety of local fauna. The animals were well-fed and healthy and they had reasonable confinements.
Sadly, over time, things went from bad to worse. The zoo fell in to disrepair and the animals were neglected. Cambodia’s leading English language newspaper picked up the story and posted the front page article “The zoo of horrors” in March 2011. KI Media and LTO Cambodia both have excerpts of the story on their site.
The article sparked outrage, and several NGOs, companies and individuals pledged help.
Wildlife Alliance picked up the project of transforming the zoo and taking care of the animals. Staff have received training and new enclosures have been built. Phnom Penh Post ran another article in March 2012 – one year after their original report on the zoo – with a much more positive headline: ‘Zoo fighting back from the brink’.
To guide this project, the non-profit organisation ‘Footprints’ was established.
Sadly, end January 2013 we were informed that despite the hard work and efforts of the Footprints team and the numerous visitors and volunteers, Footprints was unable to maintain their great work at the zoo.
Currently (December 2013), the only remaining organisation at Teuk Chhou Zoo is Elephant Asia Rescue and Survival foundation (EARS). Run by the lovely Louise, who has, with the help of donors, built a new enclosure and pool for elephants Kiri & Seila.
If you would like to have a look at how Kiri and Seila are doing, you can visit their blog here.
If you would like to help Louise look after Kiri & Seila, volunteers are welcome for a day, a week or longer. You may contact Louise directly on email@example.com for more information.
Help EARS feed Kiri and Seila – they need USD 600/month to feed these lovely elephants and pay their keepers’ salaries. Donations can be made directly to Louise, or via the EARS website.
There is plenty of work to be gotten on with in the park. Builders could support the local construction workers; vets could educate local staff as well as help out, people with green fingers could help gardening.
Help with cleaning the enclosures is always appreciated. If you would like to help out at the park, please enquire directly at the zoo for more information.
It is possible to visit Teuk Chhou Zoo.
The entrance fee is 4000៛ for Cambodian nationals and US$4 for foreigners.
The park is located along Teuk Chhou Road, about 6 kilometers north-east from Rikitikitavi.
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