The Apsara Authority announced last Friday that “hundreds of gibbons” will be released in the rain forest inside Angkor Archeological Park next month in an attempt to conserve the species locally.
This is being done in conjunction with the Flight of the Gibbon zip line tour, a tourist attraction that has been licensed to operate inside the park precincts.
Chhor Thanat, the deputy director-general of the Apsara Authority, said tourists and residents living near the park will again hear the sound of gibbon cries following plans to raise a colony in the Angkor forest.
Gibbons became endangered and rare in Cambodia following slaughter during the Pol Pot era and persistent hunting by some villagers in the forest without any conservation from authorities, he said during the opening ceremony for the Flight of the Gibbon tour on Friday June 8.
He added, “Saving the gibbon is our obligation now. The Flight of the Gibbon organisation will introduce some gibbons next month, as well as planting 5,000 trees. Every year this company will bring some gibbons and trees to plant in our Angkor forest.”
But he did not specify the exact number of gibbons to be introduced, nor did he reveal the source of the gibbons that will be brought to the Angkor Park. But he stressed that the gibbons had not been caged and will adapt naturally to the forest. He said, “This project will create gibbon regeneration in this rainforest, and it will ensure that again we will hear the cry of the gibbon.”
Elderly grandfather Sok Chan, who lives in Angkor Park, told Insider that despite his age he can still remember the sound of thousands of gibbons crying out in the Angkor Park.
He said that during the Popular Socialist Community period that began in 1955, there were a lot of wild animals living in the Angkor forest including elephants and tigers.
He added, “But later people cut down many trees. The animals ran away, and some were killed. I felt regret about losing these animals because the natural forest should be their peaceful home.”
Chhor Thanat, who manages the temple complex, said the Apsara Authority had granted 6 hectares of land to the Flight of Gibbon company to operate its adventure tour, adding that Angkor Balloon was the first company to receive an Apsara permit to operate in the park.
Chhor Thanat said, “This is the second company that received our permission to create an interesting aspect to attract tourists to stay in Siem Reap longer than before. Flight of the Gibbon is a rainforest adventure that can take tourists through the forest so they can learn about the real life in the jungle.”.