A campaign has been launched to prevent the sale of two elephants by the Kampot Zoo to a zoo in Japan, with campaigners saying the move would be unsuitable and unnecessary when relocation within Cambodia is possible.
According to Elephant Asia Rescue & Survival Foundation (EARS Asia), an NGO that has cared for elephants Kiri and Seila since 2012, the sale would be “inappropriate due to cold climate, welfare issues, and stress through overseas transportation”.
The Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS) in Siem Riep, which rehabilitates elephants for release into the wild, has instead offered to take the pair.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Cambodia to be a world leader in wildlife protection and conservation initiatives,” reads an online petition set up by EARS Asia.
A spokesperson for Kampot Zoo could not be reached for comment.
Any international transfer would have to be approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, with spokesman Eang Sophalleth yesterday insisting such a move would follow stringent review.
“We don’t just go to sleep and wake up and do things; we are very responsible.”