Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Experts say let bird fly



Experts say let bird fly

A Himalayan griffon
A Himalayan griffon vulture photographed in mid-flight in 2009. A Himalayan vulture was found in Kampot province yesterday. JAN REURINK

Experts say let bird fly

Wildlife experts fear for the health of a migratory vulture from Central Asia after it was captured by villagers in Kampot province’s Teuk Chhou district and taken to a notorious private zoo.

The Himalayan vulture, also known as the Himalayan griffon, which rarely visits Cambodia, was caught last week by a young villager in Koh Touch commune.

Initially destined for the cooking pot, the vulture has since been sent to the province’s Teuk Chhou zoo, owned by Cambodia’s National Committee for Disaster Management Vice President Nhim Vanda.

Commune police chief Kouch Chan Suy said he ordered the 12-kilogram bird be put in captivity so “other people and the next generations” could see it.

“The villagers wanted to sell it for cooking, but I said no and told them they would face punishment,” he said.

However, wildlife experts have strongly criticised the decision to give the bird to the zoo, which was described as “horrific” in a 2011 Post article.

“If the bird can be released, it should be released,” Birdlife International’s Sum Phearun said, adding he feared the vulture would be kept indefinitely against its best interests.

“It is stressed; it’s away from its nesting grounds and its own kind.”

Jonathan Eames, also of Birdlife International, said the vulture was likely suffering from fatigue and lack of food, given it had flown several thousand kilometres.

He said it was imperative the bird be given to experts quickly.

“Vultures that undergo rehabilitation and are introduced into a suitable environment can make a full recovery,” he said.

However, Wildlife Alliance’s Nick Marx said he doubted the vulture would be released.

Nhim Vanda was unreachable for comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a

  • Cambodia ready to exit LDC status

    Cambodia is well-prepared to minimise economic risks when it graduates from its Least Developed Countries status, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce on May 7. Four LDCs – Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and Nepal – met at a virtual workshop last week to explore potential

  • Nine US franchises eye Cambodia debut

    Nine famous US franchising companies are looking for business opportunities and expansion into Cambodia to build a footstep for a strong foundation in Southeast Asia. The US embassy in Phnom Penh, in partnership with the US Foreign Commercial Service and with support from the American

  • Lost in translation: ‘Starvation’ in capital’s designated red zones

    “DACH bay” is a Khmer slang meaning a “loss of income”, that could also be literally translated to «deprived of rice”, which alludes to starvation. However, civil society organisation (CSO) officials have independently confirmed the government’s prior assertions that there are no cases of