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

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • Sam Rainsy, government group set to clash at IPU Geneva meet?

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy has been invited to speak at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, according to a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker. A government delegation is also set to attend the meeting, a National Assembly press release