Happily the 2.5 acre Angkor Zoo is now closed.
The infamous Angkor Zoo was located a short distance outside of Siem Reap in Cambodia en route to Angkor Wat. There were varying accounts of the zoo on the internet but they really hid the truth 'spacious forested Serow enclosures' sounds quite nice but leads one up to being shocked. More than one account says that the zoo held Cheetah though I strongly doubt that it ever did. Why when after one had paid to enter this deplorable collection one would ever "If you wish, you can donate some money for the maintenance of the zoo." For what? To prolong the misery that this collection endures. This was a dysfunctional zoo making no contribution whatsoever to anything but the owners pocket and this is where the donated money would have ended up.
The zoo was ordered to be closed by the Cambodian government in 2007 because of the complaints about the conditions and the numerous animal deaths and disappearances.
Angkor Zoo Crocodiles
The report below is taken directly from my travel journal 'The Itinerant Zookeeper'.
On my way back to Siem Reap I stopped in at Angkor Zoo. Without a shadow of a doubt the worst maintained collection I have visited anywhere, ever (just beating the snake farm outside Chiang Mai). The only positive thing I could come up with to say is that nothing, as far as I could see, looked underweight.
The entrance fee was $2.00. The ticket said "ANIMAL VISIT TICKET - For Participating to nourish animals - No 864 "
Now whereas I was pleased at the lack of risk assessment at the temples here it was needed desperately. Of the several primate enclosures I looked at, none had a padlock on the door. Imagine the flimsiest bit of wire you can and you would be right as to what was holding doors shut. Now as there was no 'split off' facilities it suggests that the staff go in with all the monkeys and gibbons and that presents perhaps a worse problem. There is no primate more dangerous than someone else’s pet. These primate cages were horrible in the extreme. There were no barriers and whereas at one time they had been double meshed, chicken wire on top of chain link this had long since deteriorated. Some cages had swings but in spite of these there was nil enrichment. All the inmates looked thoroughly pissed off. There was no food seen, but then I don't know what their feeding schedule was. There should have been water though, it was a very hot day, but most enclosures did not. Many of the
enclosures had pools but practically all of these were too shallow or dirty or thick with algae scum (I like algae but don't like scum). The pools should be deep enough for the occupants to immerse themselves, particularly if you happen to be a large aquatic turtle or a huge magnificent otter.
Where there was food available it seemed to be either some sort of minnow type fish or grain. The exceptions would be watermelon provided for the unfortunate fruit bats and myhah food for the mynahs at the zoo entrance.
I was told there was a clouded leopard here but I didn't see one. There was an 'ordinary' leopard in a tiny concrete cell. Judging by the way it 'spoke' it was an ex pet.
There were three bears. A three footed animal held alone in cramped inadequate accommodation and two others in a double pit. None had water. Happily the two had located a below ground pipe and tapped into that.
All the bird cages were horrible. Inadequate perching and nowhere to get away. People could walk right around, and there being no barrier, bang on the mesh. That’s just what was happening. Unsupervised young kids tired of tormenting the monkeys and teasing the crocodiles were moving on to terrifying the birds. And did I say anything? Yes I did in the most diplomatic of ways, but for what? I won't be there tomorrow.
As far as I could see the zoo served no useful function whatsoever. It is not even a nice place to relax.
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