Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Elephants ‘underfed’ at Kampot zoo: expert

Elephants ‘underfed’ at Kampot zoo: expert

Asian elephant Kiri walks around his enclosure at Kampot’s Teuk Chhou Zoo earlier this year.
Asian elephant Kiri walks around his enclosure at Kampot’s Teuk Chhou Zoo earlier this year. Vireak Mai

Elephants ‘underfed’ at Kampot zoo: expert

The health of two elephants at the centre of a controversial proposed animal swap between zoos in Cambodia and Japan is deteriorating, just a month after the NGO caring for them was ejected from a Kampot zoo.

Photographic evidence of elephants Kiri and Seila compiled at Teuk Chhou Zoo in Kampot province this week shows protruding bones and one of the elephants resorting to eating grass from the ground outside its enclosure.

According to elephant conservationist Lek Chailert, who has offered the pair a home in a sanctuary she runs in Siem Reap province, they now appear extremely underfed.

“From the photos, it seems that both elephants have lost weight, leaving us all worrying about their condition,” said Chailert yesterday.

In September, conservation group EARS Asia was barred from entering Teuk Chhou Zoo after three years of funding their upkeep.

That followed the group’s vocal opposition to Kiri and Seila’s inclusion in a proposed swap with the Hirakawa Zoo in southern Japan.

EARS fears the journey would be unduly stressful and facilities in Hirakawa Zoo inadequate, while the deplorable conditions at Teuk Chhou suggest it does not have the resources to take on new animals.

EARS Asia has now launched a letter-writing campaign to put pressure on authorities in Cambodia and Japan, after receiving more than 40,000 signatures to petitions calling for the trade to be stopped.


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of

  • One Australian, one Cambodian killed in explosion at military base

    Updated: 5:20pm, Friday 16 March 2018 An Australian tourist and a Cambodian soldier were killed in an explosion on Thursday afternoon at an army base in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. The Australian, whom the government initially identified as a technical demining expert in his 40s, and

  • Peeling back layers of prehistory in Battambang

    When the man passed away, he had not yet reached 50. He belonged to a tribe that had settled near the Sangker River in Battambang province, likely cultivating the fields and raising animals. On the side, they hunted for boars, and even turtles, one of which