Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Elephants ‘underfed’ at Kampot zoo: expert

Elephants ‘underfed’ at Kampot zoo: expert

Asian elephant Kiri walks around his enclosure at Kampot’s Teuk Chhou Zoo earlier this year.
Asian elephant Kiri walks around his enclosure at Kampot’s Teuk Chhou Zoo earlier this year. Vireak Mai

Elephants ‘underfed’ at Kampot zoo: expert

The health of two elephants at the centre of a controversial proposed animal swap between zoos in Cambodia and Japan is deteriorating, just a month after the NGO caring for them was ejected from a Kampot zoo.

Photographic evidence of elephants Kiri and Seila compiled at Teuk Chhou Zoo in Kampot province this week shows protruding bones and one of the elephants resorting to eating grass from the ground outside its enclosure.

According to elephant conservationist Lek Chailert, who has offered the pair a home in a sanctuary she runs in Siem Reap province, they now appear extremely underfed.

“From the photos, it seems that both elephants have lost weight, leaving us all worrying about their condition,” said Chailert yesterday.

In September, conservation group EARS Asia was barred from entering Teuk Chhou Zoo after three years of funding their upkeep.

That followed the group’s vocal opposition to Kiri and Seila’s inclusion in a proposed swap with the Hirakawa Zoo in southern Japan.

EARS fears the journey would be unduly stressful and facilities in Hirakawa Zoo inadequate, while the deplorable conditions at Teuk Chhou suggest it does not have the resources to take on new animals.

EARS Asia has now launched a letter-writing campaign to put pressure on authorities in Cambodia and Japan, after receiving more than 40,000 signatures to petitions calling for the trade to be stopped.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen rejects ‘rift’ rumours spread by ‘stupid gangsters’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday denied a “rift” among top leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), and rejected claims that Senate president Say Chhum and Interior Minister Sar Kheng were set to be removed from their positions as rumours spread by “gangsters”.

  • Huge 3.5-tonne ivory haul seized in capital

    Working with US officials, Phnom Penh Autonomous Port has uncovered almost 3.5 tonnes of elephant ivory hidden in a container, the US Embassy in Cambodia said on Facebook on Saturday. A tip-off provided to the General Department of Customs and Excise by a US Fish and

  • EU ambassador to Cambodia: Rights a ‘work in progress’

    The EU ambassador to Cambodia has called human rights “a work in progress” and said the 28-nation bloc has “carefully” noted last week’s statement by the government on taking further steps to strengthen democracy and the political sphere in the Kingdom. The EU marked

  • Assembly passes amendment to Political Party Law Article 45

    The National Assembly on Thursday unanimously approved a proposed amendment to Article 45 of the Law on Political Parties in a move that could pave the way for former senior opposition leaders banned for five years to return to the political stage. As expected, the 115 ruling