Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center is located 45 km south of Phnom Penh, in Tro Pang Sap village, Tro Pang Sap Commune, Ba Ti District, Takeo Province.
Phnom Tamao can be accessible as a day trip from Phnom Penh via National Road No 2 and takes about an hour and a half by car.
Phnom Tamao is a rich area featuring temples, mountains, forests and a wildlife rescue center with over 1,200 animals. Within an area of 2,300 hectares of protected, regenerating forest, 1,200 hectares are dedicated to tree nurseries and 100 hectares for animal rehabilitation and care.
Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center is home to over 1,200 rescued animals (over 100 species), many of them endangered due to the illegal wildlife trade and habitat loss.
The largest animal park in Cambodia, Phnom Tamao was established in 1995 to provide a save haven for rescued animals, including elephants, tigers, gibbons, macaques, leopards, crocodiles, and many others who are now cared for by the Cambodian Forestry Administration and a non-profit organization called Wildlife Alliance. Since 2001, over 50,000 live animals have been rescued, most of them by the Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team, an authority created by Wildlife Alliance and the Forestry Administration. Healthy animals are immediately released into a safe habitat, and animals needing rehabilitation or special care are brought to Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center for as long as needed.
Over 200,000 people visit Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center every year. It is a great attraction for both local people and tourists, easily visited as a day trip from Phnom Penh.
Wildlife Alliance now offers a behind-the-scenes tour to interact with the rescued animals and raise funds for their care. The tour brings guests into private areas of the park to:
- Feed, bathe and walk with rescued elephants in the forest
- Receive a new T-shirt and get painted while wearing it, by the humanely-trained elephant Lucky
- Watch the changing of young elephant Chhouk’s prosthetic foot using positive reinforcement training
- Enter the tiger dens and get face-to-face with these highly endangered creatures
- Interact with baby animals at the nursery, an area off-limits to the general public
- Meet other native endangered animals and learn their unique rescue stories
This tour is a fundraiser for the animals: All tour profits go directly to the rescue and care of wildlife in Cambodia. For more information and bookings, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or +855 (0) 9597 0175 or go to http://www.wildlifealliance.org/page/view/383/wildlife-tours.
There are five mountains in the area: Phnom Tamao, Phnom Thmor Dos, Phnom Phdan Poan, Phnom Chhoy and Phnom Bang.
Of these, two hold ancient temples at their peaks. Both Tamao Temple and Thmor Dos Temple were built in the 11th century during the reign of King Soryak Varman I and dedicated to Brahmanism. Constructed with Thmor silt and red-solid brick, they are no longer in mint condition, but do offer beautiful views of the green countryside below.
Sources: Takeo Province and Wildlife Alliance