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

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the

  • Soaring global fuel prices: an opportunity for Cambodia?

    Cambodia is feeling the squeeze from the soaring global coal and oil prices. Electricity du Cambodge (EDC)would certainly be hurting from this reality, and most likely re-assessing its plans to add more coal power stations. EDC buys half of Cambodia’s electricity from plants

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when