Sok Nee, 5, said her favorite animal is the monkey.
Fifty winners of a wildlife art contest fed the bears and met endangered species
at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center October 4 in celebration of International World
Animal Day. Kouprey Express and Free the Bears sponsored the event.
The trip was the culmination of two weeks of activities hosted by the Kouprey Express
environmental education bus.
"We get the kids involved," said project manager Julien Colomer. "It's
an interactive. environmental program that is unique in Cambodia."
The brightly decorated Kouprey Bus - covered with paintings of Cambodian wildlife
and forests - visits five schools a week, mostly in rural areas near protected forests
"The kids love it," said Colomer.
At the end of each week the children are allowed to bring along their families to
share what they have learned. Colomer said these events can attract 500 to 1,000
"We learned about different animals and their lives," said 10-year-old
Vicheka, as he added final touches to a colorful painting of an elephant at Krousar
Thmey center for street children one day last week.
Five-year-old Sok Nee giggled as she had her face painted by one of the Kouprey Express
team. "I learned about snakes, monkeys, pigs. My favorite is monkeys,"
"It's good for kids to get an education on wildlife protection and habitat protection
now," said Lee Jun Tee, 13.
"In the future they will be the ones that can help protect the forest and spread
the information to their friends and relatives."