GRANDIOSE plans to develop a one-million-acre (404,700-hectare) Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary north of Siem Reap will begin next month, with plans for a much-needed veterinary hospital, according to sanctuary founder David Casselman.
Speaking from his office in California, Casselman told 7Days that the first stage of work would include constructing the volunteer quarters, which the sanctuary already had funding for.
“The volunteer quarters will house people so that we can start to build a nursery to restore the forest,” he said.
He added that the plan was to then build an observation sanctuary and a veterinary hospital. But funding for these projects was not yet available.
“The plan is to create world-class facilities,” he said. “We are working very hard and coordinating with people internationally. We are still working on the design of the veterinary hospital.”
He added that the sanctuary hoped to hire more than 1000 Cambodian workers in the next few years.
According to the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary website, the hospital would be built within the observation sanctuary. The website also claims that the observation sanctuary would be 2000 hectares in size to protect and shelter indigenous wildlife.
“We hope to have elephants, tigers and any other animals that are native to Cambodia,” Casselman said.
Among other plans is an “elephant raceway” where elephants are free to travel and an extensive aviary.
Casselman said no work was yet happening at the sanctuary, which spans three provinces: Siem Reap, Oddar Meanchey and Preah Vihear.
It was founded in 2004 and was created in partnership with the Cambodian government to protect elephants and other native animals of the region.