Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Disorderly bear discharged

Disorderly bear discharged

Disorderly bear discharged

Border soldiers teach a pet sun bear tricks in Preah Vihear province
Border soldiers teach a pet sun bear tricks in Preah Vihear province in 2012. The bear was placed under the care of Wildlife Alliance and relocated to Phnom Penh yesterday. Photo supplied

Preah Vihear border soldiers have turned over a male sun bear they raised as a pet to Wildlife Alliance after the bear became uncontrollable.

Forestry administrator Prom Nol, working with Wildlife Alliance’s Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team (WRRT), said border soldiers in Preah Vihear’s Choam Ksan district gave the bear – not quite two years old – to his team yesterday. He believed it would arrive at the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center in Takeo last night, he said.

“When it grew bigger, it turned mean and scratched anyone,” Nol said. “It often stole eggs from nearby villagers to eat, so it was given to us.”

Nol added that the bear was not caged but allowed to roam the garrison and surrounding neighbourhood. The bear was caught in Preah Vihear forest more than a year ago and has been raised by soldiers as a pet.

Since 2002, more than 60 bears nationwide have been handed over to WRRT.

Chuon Vuthy, project manager for Free the Bears at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center, said Cambodian bears are illegally traded to other countries for $200 to $500 per bear. Although the trade is illegal, he added, people buy bears from traffickers and raise them for pleasure.

MOST VIEWED

  • US to ramp up sanctions after ‘flawed’ national polls

    At a press conference on Wednesday, the US State Department announced that it would expand visa sanctions on the Cambodian officials and individuals it deems responsible for “undermining democracy” in Cambodia. At the briefing, spokesperson Heather Nauert reiterated that the department regarded the July 29 elections

  • PM's Bodyguard commander hits back at US

    The commander of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Bodyguard Unit (BGU) Hing Bun Heang on Sunday dismissed a short video clip that went viral on social media in which he says he is preparing for a war with the United States over its aggressiveness towards

  • Final poll results confirm first single-party Assembly

    IN an unprecedented situation in Cambodian politics, the official results of the July 29 national elections have declared that the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) will take all 125 seats in the National Assembly on the back of it receiving 76 per cent of the votes. The National

  • Chinese influence to sweep Kingdom?

    Growing Cambodia-China ties have seen the latter’s influence sweep across the Kingdom through increased investments and tourism. The Asian giant has become the leading source of foreign funds in Cambodia, fuelling the construction sector with huge casino and hotel projects. Much of the growth