Tamao Wildlife Sanctuary entrance
Local selling peanuts
Monkey's roam freely at Tamao
Feeding fish to the otters
Wednesday, 7 October 2009
(Post by CAAI News Media)
Nestled within the southern jungles of Phnom Penh lies the Tamao Wildlife Sanctuary, Cambodia's leading sanctuary for animals seized from smugglers or traps set up by poachers.
Tamao Wildlife Sanctuary was founded by the father of a famous Cambodian actress and is now sponsored by the government as well as other non-government organisations.
On the 44km drive from central Phnom Penh to the sanctuary, travellers should take the opportunity to visit Or Phea Sang Village Ka Deung Commune located 3km from Tamao Mountain.
The village is dedicated to farming frogs, which are then used to create Amok Frog - a skinned and cooked frog stuffed with lemongrass on a skewer. The main road is lined on each side with local stalls cooking and selling the specialty.
Travellers then only need to drive for another ten minutes before reaching Tamao Wildlife Sanctuary where they will be greeted by locals selling peanuts and bananas that can be used to feed the animals
Local tour guides are also there to assist visitors and take them around the enormous sanctuary which gives ample caging space for its furry residents.
Animals at the sanctuary include yellow-throated martens, mongoose, peacocks, flying squirrels, turtles, tigers, cranes, gibbons and monkeys just to name a few.
The majority of the animals may never be returned to the wild as the price on their head is high.
You can feed almost all of the animals and if you're unsure you can ask the tour guide if the animal is friendly or not - the free roaming monkeys usually come straight up to you to grab a peanut or banana.
For US$1 you can get a bundle of fish or six hard-boiled eggs to feed the otters which literally scream when they see your hand full of food. You can even buy a coconut and feed the elephants or the bears.
It takes less than two hours to see all the animals with the last stop at the elephant enclosure where visitors are given the chance to see an elephant paint.
Zoo lovers will enjoy the close proximity to the animals that the sanctuary allows, with all of its animals kept in above average conditions.