Search form

Login - Register | FOLLOW US ON

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sun bear caretaker earns global prize

Sun bear caretaker earns global prize

120323_08b

Chuon Vuthy, country program manager of an Australia-based NGO that works to rescue endangered bears and educate people about the need to protect them and their environment, yesterday became the first Cambodian to win the Future for Nature Award at a ceremony in the Netherlands, Free the Bears said.

{jathumbnail}

“I feel as nervous as the rescued bears do when they first arrive here,” Chuon Vuthy, 32, told the Post before leaving for Amsterdam last weekend.

The €50,000-euro award will be used to help fund three projects run by the NGO, which cares for 118 sun bears and Asiatic black bears at the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre in Takeo province.

The Future for Nature Award was a global award given to three outstanding young conservationists who were having a real impact in protecting endangered species, Free the Bears CEO Matt Hunt said.

Chuon Vuthy was among three winners selected from more than 60 applicants from over 30 countries, Hunt said.

Chuon Vuthy has been with Free the Bears since its inception in Cambodia in 1997.

Then, there were only six bears at the centre.

Now, there were 118, ranging from three months old to about 25 years old, Chuon Vuthy said, adding he knew each by name.

The bears are named by sponsors who donate US$3,000 a year to what Hunt describes as “the world’s biggest sanctuary for the world’s smallest bear species”.

Free the Bears is expanding to larger quarantine enclosures, a new clinic and a more extensive educational program.

Chuon Vuthy said he hoped that in the future, Cambodians would increasingly treasure their environment, including forests and animals, with the full support of the government.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vincent MacIsaac at vincent.macisaac@phnompenhpost.com

0

Comments

Please, login or register to post a comment

Latest Video

First They Killed My Father author Loung Ung on trusting Angelina Jolie to tell a story for all Cambodians

The story of Loung Ung and her family’s suffering under the Khmer Rouge became known around the world with the success of her autobiographical book, First They Killed My Father.

Setting up a drone for flight. Photo supplied

How Cambodia's first drone company is helping farmers

SM Waypoint claims its unmanned aerial vehicles can help local farm and plantation owners increase their yields.

New street food dish shakes things up at Russian Market

Though the bustling food stalls that emerge after dark next to Russian Market can seem intimidating to tourists at first glance, there are street food treats to be enjoyed by all.