ZOO

Zoo Down Again.

Eight kilometres from the Cambodian coastal town of Kampot, the surreal and oddly tranquil Teuk Chhou Zoo is nestled in an idyllic valley set at the fringe of Bokor National Park, where the Elephant mountains meet the plains of the Prek Kampot River.

The private zoo was realised in 1999 by His Excellency Senator Nhim Vanda, still the owner today and owner of Prey Veng Zoo. Over the years what seems to have been lack of finance and public interest rendered the zoo dilapidated, animal enclosures deteriorated and became unliveable, the animals were underfed and seriously neglected. Consequently many were malnourished and emaciated, culminating in sickness, depression and death.

After visiting the zoo in 2011 Rory and Melita Hunter, an Australian couple living in Cambodia pledged to do what they could to save the dying residents of Teuk Chhou Zoo. Collaborating with Nhim Vanda and utilising the animal care skills of Nick Marx of the Wildlife Alliance, the situation was temporarily reversed and many of the animals were saved.

Out of this came Footprints, an NGO dedicating itself to the management and transformation of the zoo. A lease was signed with Nhim Vanda and plans for the future were slowly moving toward a state of the art Teuk Chhou Wildlife & Educational Park".

In early 2013 the deal between Nhim Vanda and Footprints was abruptly broken over an unknown dispute and the future of the animals is uncertain once again.