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Road could affect future tiger habitat

A recently approved road project leading to the border with Vietnam in Mondulkiri would do irreversible damage to the province’s protected forest and threaten future attempts to reintroduce tigers to the Kingdom, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

In a statement released yesterday, the group said the proposed Srea Ampom-Kbal Damrei road would have few economic and development benefits, while significantly harming natural resources and environmental capital.

“The proposed road will cut through 36 km of the Mondulkiri Protected Forest, while not improving access to any existing villages,” said Sam Ath Chhith, country director of WWF-Cambodia, in the statement.

WWF spokesman Un Chakrey yesterday said he is unsure when the road would be built, but its approval by the Interior Ministry leads him to believe construction is imminent.

Cambodian officials have unofficially approached countries with high tiger populations in order to potentially reintroduce the jungle cat.

Mondulkiri Provincial Governor Eng Bun Heng and Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak could not be reached yesterday.

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