Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Tiger, pythons, turtles and Russians



Tiger, pythons, turtles and Russians

Tiger, pythons, turtles and Russians

W HILE there's undoubtedly many plans on the drawing boards for how to save Cambodia's

wildlife, one guy is actually already doing something about it right on the outskirts

of Phnom Penh.

With little cash in his pockets, a bundle of camping gear and a fiery determination

in his eyes, Russian man Nicola Doroshenko (pictured right) has set up shop on a

half acre of land just beyond Pochentong where he is collecting an odd assortment

of endangered species - from pythons to rare turtles to a Cambodian tiger - and doing

his best to keep them alive.

The job isn't easy. Doroshenko says that the tiger needs eight kilos of meat a day

just to have a decent feed.

At 3000 riels per kilo the blond, blue-eyed Uzbecki is looking for a few charitable

souls to kick in some bucks to help keep what is undoubtably one of the most magnificant

wild creatures on the planet well-fed.

Beyond a healthy diet, the tiger also needs a bigger pen. Sadly, the rare cat, which

is drawing wide-eyed villagers from near and far, is now confined to a one by two

meter cage.

Doroshenko has plans to build a larger enclosure, and one to develop a pond for his

endangered turtles and monkies, but needs the money - or better still some donated

raw materials - to do the work.

All the efforts of "Cola", as he is known, come under the Society for Ecology

& Wildlife Preservation Cambodia, an organization he set up with some friends.

They treat sick animals, conduct research on snakes, insects and anything else they

can find and seem to be having the time of their lives living in tents like some

long-lost frontiersmen in an uncharted tropical wilderness.

The Russian community in Phnom Penh knows all about Doroshenko's operation. A recent

weekend visit to the rustic camp site involved ample helpings of shiskebabs, some

chilled vodka and an opportunity to pet the three-meter long python - in that order.

One could also scratch a turtle's belly and have a monkey jump on your chest and

pick your pockets. The python had already eaten so we missed seeing Doroshenko feed

it some live mice.

Ever feel bored on Sundays? Want to entertain the kids? Or even better, want to chip

in your two cents worth to save an endangered species? Give Nicola a call at 60051

and make an appointment to visit what he says is definitely "not a zoo!"

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants