KAMPONG Thom authorities will refuse to accept 20 ostriches offered to the province by Vietnam due to the financial constraints of feeding the birds.
Vietnam’s VOV News radio reported yesterday that Binh Phouc Province authorites intended to donate the birds to Cambodia.
Ostriches are farmed around the world, primarily for their meat, according to the American Ostrich Association’s website. But Cambodian officials are far from enthusiastic about the opportunity.
“They are so big, and they eat so much food,” Department of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries provincial director Ou Bosphorn said yesterday. “We are not financially capable of feeding the animals.”
The 20 birds could munch through US$25 worth of corn, beans and morning glory per day, authorities said.
Kampong Thom provincial governor Chhun Chhorn added that local authorities did not have the required expertise to raise the birds and dared not accept them because of concerns the birds would die. “We do not object if a private company wants to raise the animals,” he added.
Kratie provincial agricultural authorities said that they were still assessing the returns from a separate lot of 20 ostriches acquired earlier this year.