Wildlife Alliance plans to invest US$70,000 to build two new cages to facilitate the breeding of a recently captured renegade elephant named Sambo and three potential mates at Phnom Tamao Zoo.
Nhem Thy, vice-director and animal technical expert at the Phnom Tamao Zoo, said plans had been made to build one cage for Sambo and another for three female elephants named Narann, Lucky and Chamroeun.
“We are building safe cages for Sambo and for Narann, Lucky and Chamroeun so they can breed and increase the elephant population,” he said.
He said according to estimates, Sambo’s new cage will cost $10,000 and the cage for Narann, Lucky and Chamroeun will cost an additional $60,000.
He added that zoo officials will also attempt a second meeting between Sambo and Srey Pao, the female elephant who refused Sambo’s advances earlier this month.
Sambo was sent from Kampong Speu province to Phnom Tamao Zoo on December 25 after he killed his owner in early December.
Sambo subsequently fled into nearby jungle, from which he trampled crops and terrorized residents of Mon village.
He was later shot with tranquiliser darts, chained to a log in a rice field adjacent to the village, and eventually transported to Phnom Tamao Zoo on Christmas Day.