Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre
Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center
The Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center is located 40 kilometres south of the city of Phnom Penh on National Road 2. The center sits on 2,500 hectares of protected forest, which is a rarity in Cambodia. Nevertheless this forest provides a perfect natural refuge for rescued Cambodian wildlife. The Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center is run by the Forestry Administration of the Cambodian Government but receives great assistance from non-profit groups of animal conservationist organizations in order to provide care and rehabilitation for victims of the illegal wildlife trade.
Lions and tigers and sun bears and elephants and deer and gibbons and snakes, oh my! At this sanctuary for rescued animals, guests can see a vast array of Cambodia’s wildlife (which is usually very difficult to spot), ranging from the world’s largest captive collections of Malayan sun bears and pileated gibbons to rare animals like greater adjutant storks and Siamese crocodiles. Rescued from poachers or abusive owners, all of the animals at the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center – there are more than 1200 animals of more than 100 species–receive shelter and medical care as part of a sustainable breeding program. When possible, the center’s residents are released back into the wild once they’ve recovered and the center does its best to educate the public on issues of wildlife protection.
The variety of animals that you can see here is extensive, including an impressive tiger population. There are some opportunities to interact with some of the animals, like the large population of elephants (many of which who enjoy painting as well as eating). The conditions are excellent in comparison to some other organizations and the residents are given room to roam; work by various NGOs has helped with this. As a result, the Center feels much like a zoo (which it is, to some extent) that’s also a safari park, or vice versa. While there is a lot of work being done, there is still plenty left to do and donations from visitors help immensely.