Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Deer headed to Angkor

Deer headed to Angkor

Sambar, a threatened species of deer, is set to be reintroduced to the forests of the Angkor Temple Complex in Siem Reap later this year.
Sambar, a threatened species of deer, is set to be reintroduced to the forests of the Angkor Temple Complex in Siem Reap later this year. WILDLIFE ALLIANCE

Deer headed to Angkor

The forests around Cambodia’s iconic Angkor Temple Complex will soon be home once more to a species of deer that had disappeared from the area due to excessive hunting during the latter part of the last century.

Listed as “vulnerable” by the IUCN, the sambar is the latest species set for reintroduction into the area as part of an ambitious re-wilding scheme which has already seen gibbons and langurs successfully released.

The project is a partnership between conservation NGO Wildlife Alliance; the official body charged with protecting the Angkor heritage site, the Apsara Authority; and the Forestry Administration.

According to Wildlife Alliance director Nick Marx, the scheme only aims to reintroduce species that have a history of inhabiting the area, but have either disappeared or seen numbers severely depleted.

“We have these wonderful iconic forest temples, which are the cultural centre of Cambodia, but the natural heritage has been kind of forgotten, until now” he said.

Many of the animals released are confiscated from wildlife traders by Wildlife Alliance’s Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team, or are the young of confiscated animals that have been cared for by the NGO at one of their three centres across the country.

Marx says the male sambar and two females set to initially be released will arrive within the next three months, and after a six-month period of acclimatisation, will be let free.

According to Marx, though reintroduction schemes inevitably encounter obstacles, such as continued hunting or the animals not adapting to their new environment, they are an essential final step in his organisation’s work.

“We’re confiscating huge numbers of wildlife.

We can’t just keep putting them in cages,” he said. “We have to start thinking of a beyond.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Angkor Beer, 30 Years of Prestige and Still Counting

    Let’s celebrate 30 years of prestige with Angkor Beer. In this 2022, Angkor Beer is 30 years old and has been staying with Cambodian hearts in all circumstances. Head of core beer portfolio, EmYuthousaid, “We have been with Cambodians for three decades now. We, ANGKOR Beer, pride

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,