Phnom Tamao Zoo is home to many interesting animals. It’s the largest zoo and wildlife sanctuary in Cambodia. If you get the opportunity to travel Phnom Penh, don’t miss this destination.
Opened in 2000, Phnom Tamao Zoo is more a wildlife rescue centre than a zoo, serving as a safe refuge to rare and endangered animals rescued from the clutches of poachers, traffickers and illegal wildlife traders. Its residents now include more than 1,000 animals plus hundreds of exotic birds and reptiles. Managed by the Ministry of Agriculture’s Forestry Department with support from WildAid and Free the Bears Fund, the zoo occupies about 1,200 hectares land out of a 2,500-hectar forest protected area of Phnom Tamao that enjoys picturesque surroundings comprising mountains and ancient temples such as Phnom Tamao Temple and Thmor Dos Temple.
What to see in the zoo
The temple made of Thmor silt mad red-solid brick. Now, most of the temples are damaged. The people want to go to this temple to worship than Ta Mao temple. In addition, Phnom Ta Mao has a big zoo in Cambodia; the zoo is under the supervision of the Department of Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture and has 84 varieties of animals and birds; two kinds of them are brought from abroad. There are 150-fourfooted animals consisting of 38 kinds. There are 300 birds consisting of 38 kinds. There are 30 reptiles consisting of eight kinds. All these animals are brought here by the Ministry of Agriculture and by seizing from offenders who illegally traffic in wild animals through out Cambodia. To take care these animals, we need to expend US$ 120 per day for food, and 22 staff and workers are working there.
As you step into the zoo, you’ll be welcomed by a small pool festooned with pelicans and storks. Adjacent to the pond are two small enclosures featuring crocodiles. The walk-through enclosures make for closer interaction with inhabitants such as boisterous gibbons and monkeys, freely wandering deer, hairy-nosed otters, peacocks and iguanas, among many others. One of the most attractive sections of the zoo is the sun bear enclosure that is run by the Free the Bears – an Australian organization whose key objective is to conserve, protect and improve the lives of bears. With a huge enclosure consisting of swimming pools, toys and hammocks, it is the largest sun bear sanctuary in the world, including Asiatic black bears as well as Malaysian sun bears that have been saved from the black market, hotels and restaurants.
The average number of tourists visiting Phnom Ta Mao is 500-600 visitors per week; but during the festivals, there are 7,000-8,000 visitors per week. The local people of four communes around the Phnom Ta Mao are earning money from selling food to tourists. We can extend package-tour program to the above two resorts because these resorts are the popular sites for local and international tourists, and their location is near Phnom Penh. As the sites can attract many tourists, we expect to lure investors to invest in tourist facilitation and constructing the trail from the national Road No 2 to the resorts. The Department of Forestry has a project on constructing an inside trail linking from Tonle Ba Ti to Phnom Ta Mao in six-kilometre distance.
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