Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - City sun bear finds new home

City sun bear finds new home

City sun bear finds new home

citysu.jpg
citysu.jpg

Englishman Ian Butcher, of FTB, meets Tong-Tong.

Tong-Tong the city-raised sun bear has found a new home at the Phnom Tamao Zoological

Gardens and Wildlife Rescue Center, 45 kilometers outside Phnom Penh.

The zoo, run by the Wildlife Protection Office (WPO), has three bear enclosures covering

1.6 hectares built by Free The Bears Fund (FTB), an Australian charity. The addition

of Tong-Tong brings the number of bears to 16. Twelve are sun bears.

Michael Tan, who helped raise the bear and had it donated to the zoo, said: "Some

guys offered us $1,000 for the bear, but we said no."

He said that as he had looked after the bear since it was only two months old, he

did not want to see it killed or milked for bile.

"You feed her for so many years, like a daughter, so how can you kill her?"

he said.

FTB, which also maintains the zoo's bear enclosures and pays the salaries of the

three bear keepers, said that all the bears in their charge were either donated,

like Tong-Tong, or confiscated by the WPO.

Ian Butcher, who works as a volunteer for FTB, said that the philosophy behind the

charity's involvement in Cambodia was to achieve long-term sustainability for the

project.

"Conservation starts with the people," said Butcher. "You have to

respect local people, learn their language and understand why they kill and eat bears.

The usual answer is poverty.

"When I leave, I would like to see Cambodians running the enclosures themselves,

knowing they would have back-up in the form of volunteers."

Tong-Tong is in quarantine but should be integrated with the other bears in about

a fortnight.

MOST VIEWED

  • LPG gas explosion injures 13 people, including foreigners, in Siem Reap

    An explosion on Wednesday at a liquid petroleum gas (LPG) car and tuk-tuk refuelling station in Siem Reap city has left 13 people, including an American and a Briton, suffering burns. The seven most severely burned, including a provincial police officer, were sent to a Thai

  • Over 100 Chinese nationals to be deported for online scam

    The Ministry of Interior is planning to deport 128 Chinese nationals after they were arrested in Preah Sihanouk province on Wednesday for their alleged involvement in an online money extortion scam. Y Sokhy, the head of the Department of Counter-terrorism and Transnational Crime, told The Post

  • More than 800 people test positive for HIV in 2018

    The National Aids Authority (NAA) said more than 800 people tested positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) last year, joining over 76,000 others aged between 15 and 49 in the Kingdom already infected with the virus. The spread of HIV/AIDS in the Kingdom is showing few signs of

  • Rainsy vow to return on Nov 9 dismissed as ‘political warfare’

    An announcement from the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) that its “acting president” Sam Rainsy would return to the Kingdom on November 9 was dismissed on Sunday as “political warfare”. The CNRP made the announcement on Friday after a permanent committee meeting chaired by