Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tek Chhou Zoo

A majestic and beautiful tiger at Tek Chhou Zoo
I've never been a big fan of the zoo but I must admit that both zoo's that I've been to in Cambodia have surprised me in how well run they appear to a non-zoo specialist like myself. Maybe well run is a bit of an exaggeration, but the animals looked as though they had enough room in their cages and they looked well fed, though to say they were happy would be going way too far. The second zoo on my list was the one near Kampot called Tek Chhou Zoo, the first was the one near Phnom Penh called Phnom Tamao Zoo (or Wildlife Sanctuary as they like it to be known). Tek Chhou is half a dozen kilometres from Kampot and on the way to the nearby rapids, so combining the two is an obvious half-day trip, as Tim and I did a few weeks ago. Admission costs $4 for a barang and a dollar for a Khmer and the zoo was opened in 2000. It has all the obvious zoo inhabitants such as lions, tigers, elephants, monkeys of various varieties and so on. There was a large pool for some aquatic residents but it was devoid of marine life. This zoo also had a group of twenty naked children jumping in and out of two water-fountains, which was the liveliest thing in the whole place, as the animals, not surprising in the heat, were lacking energy and enthusiasm. Two rather disconcerting moments occurred as we walked around the compound, which is suprisingly large. When we arrived at the monkey cage, one of the long-tailed macaques started to furiously masturbate himself and then whilst photographing the maned-male lion, he turned around and aimed a stream of piss at Tim. The elephants and orangutans on the other hand were ultra friendly as were the female zoo staff. The highlight for me was the majestic tiger who posed beautifully for photos and at the same time seemed impervious to our presence.
The friendly elephants were in feeding mode
Just another day at the office for this orangutan
This coconut has elicited the interest of two thirsty orangutans
Its a monkey, maybe a spider monkey, but I'm not 100% sure
This lioness was keen to get into the male enclosure
It looks like an ox and you are nearly right - its actually a banteng
A lonely otter, unlike the screaming hordes of otters to be found at Phnom Tamao
No brochure or leaflet so this billboard will suffice to explain what's inside
The entrance to Tek Chhou Zoo: $4 for foreigners, $1 for locals


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