Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sustainable conservation

Fancy getting down and dirty with the wildlife at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Center just outside Phnom Penh? We've just put together a new day-long adventure that we think will be a real hit with wildlife enthusiasts visiting Cambodia. Here's the details to get your juices flowing.
Get a unique work of art, trunk-painted by Lucky

Our unique experience provides an incredible insight into the work of the Wildlife Alliance team who protect Cambodia’s wildlife from the threats of poaching, trafficking and cruelty. This full-day adventure offers a close encounter with some of Cambodia’s rarest wildlife and all proceeds from the trip go towards assisting Wildlife Alliance and their Forestry Department colleagues in their work protecting Cambodia’s natural treasures, their fight against the illegal wildlife trade and care for the animals they rescue. This is unlike any other wildlife experience on offer in the region, as it takes the visitor up close to these wonderful animals in the company of conservation experts. Departing from Phnom Penh, the journey to Phnom Tamao includes a stop at a local market to buy some fruit to feed the elephants and other animals on arrival. Once at the Rescue Centre, visitors will join the elephants for a walk in the forest and feed them some fruit snacks. They will then visit the elephant enclosure to learn more about the reward-based training given to the elephants to improve the manner in which they are cared for. Guests will also meet a rescued elephant who lost his foot to a snare. He now has a prosthetic limb. It is also possible to have your very own elephant painting t-shirt, ‘trunk-painted’ while you wear it.
Then its onto the tiger enclosures to meet the big cats personally and watch them playing with enrichment items. Other wildlife in this area includes the incredible binturong or bearcat, one of the lesser known animals in Cambodia. Later there is the chance to visit the rehabilitation section of the rescue centre which is not open to the general public. Here there is the opportunity to help feed one of the young residents of the centre such as a baby jackal or leopard cat or play with the many mischievous baby macaques. A picnic lunch is then enjoyed in a private area close to the compound of the hairy-nosed otter, an animal so difficult to care for he is probably the only one currently in captivity anywhere in the world.
In the afternoon, there is the chance to explore the vast water bird aviary, home to some of Cambodia’s rare avian life and to walk around the nearby Lakeside area where sambar deer roam. There are also large water birds resident here, including the lesser adjutant stork, listed by IUCN as Vulnerable. These birds are breeding freely in the forest surrounding the Rescue Centre. This really is a one-of-a-kind experience for visitors that have a passion for wildlife and its conservation. It might get dirty for those that don’t mind mucking in, particularly with the elephants or baby macaques, but for those that want to learn more about wildlife and the hard work that goes into its protection, there is no better experience in the region. And all proceeds go towards the conservation and protection of Cambodia’s threatened wildlife. By supporting this unique experience, you are contributing to sustainable conservation in Cambodia.

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