Saturday, December 13, 2008
Tek Chhou Zoo, the first was the one near Phnom Penh called Phnom Tamao Zoo (or Wildlife Sanctuary as they like it to be known). Tek Chhou is half a dozen kilometres from Kampot and on the way to the nearby rapids, so combining the two is an obvious half-day trip, as Tim and I did a few weeks ago. Admission costs $4 for a barang and a dollar for a Khmer and the zoo was opened in 2000. It has all the obvious zoo inhabitants such as lions, tigers, elephants, monkeys of various varieties and so on. There was a large pool for some aquatic residents but it was devoid of marine life. This zoo also had a group of twenty naked children jumping in and out of two water-fountains, which was the liveliest thing in the whole place, as the animals, not surprising in the heat, were lacking energy and enthusiasm. Two rather disconcerting moments occurred as we walked around the compound, which is suprisingly large. When we arrived at the monkey cage, one of the long-tailed macaques started to furiously masturbate himself and then whilst photographing the maned-male lion, he turned around and aimed a stream of piss at Tim. The elephants and orangutans on the other hand were ultra friendly as were the female zoo staff. The highlight for me was the majestic tiger who posed beautifully for photos and at the same time seemed impervious to our presence.