The Cambodia Wildlife Observation Sanctuary will consist of a tourist friendly 2000 hectare sanctuary protecting and sheltering indigenous wildlife that is either under veterinary care or not releasable into the wild. This facility is presently being designed by world class sanctuary and veterinary experts.
Constructed near Angkor Wat, the Observation Sanctuary will attract a significant tourist population. Skillfully designed to permit viewing of the wildlife in their natural environment, it will also include a veterinary facility to treat injured wildlife and to train both veterinarians and technicians in wildlife care and treatment.
The Veterinary & Tourist Facilities and the Observation Area of CWS will provide habitat and veterinary care for rescued, injured or confiscated wildlife. Whenever possible, wildlife will be treated, rehabilitated and released. However, in some instances, individual animals may not be suitable candidates for release.
See the current design drawings of the Observation Sanctuary.
These animals necessarily become permanent residents of the Observation Area which is designed to replicate their native environment. The Observation Area allows visitors to view these animals in natural settings rather than cages. Tourists will move along the viewing areas by walking or cycling along specially equipped paths, elevated walkways and observation platforms which extend into the enclosures. Unique viewing areas will allow entry or special observation into the habitats to create opportunities to view the animals unseen and to allow closer observation and scientific study. Cambodian guides will educate visitors about native flora and fauna and Cambodian culture.
Cambodian veterinarians and technicians will provide educational tours of the hospital and various animal residents. The Observation Area will serve as a major tourist attraction as well as a training and observation site for wildlife behaviorists and others. Other segments of development will include a Veterinary Hospital & Quarantine Area, Rehabilitation & Translocation Areas, Staff Quarters, and a Training Centre for Veterinarians, Veterinary Technicians, Biologists and other Scientists and Students.
CWS will also include a Transportation Barn and Storage Area, Visitor & Education Centre, Nature Paths, Restaurant & Gift Shop, Animal Nutrition facility, and Animal & Human Waste Control facility. Upon completion, the sanctuary will be the world’s first facility where conservation and respect for individual rescued animals converge in a public setting.
The eco-tourism is intended to accomplish several goals. First, it must provide exciting and new forms of viewing opportunities that will make it a must-see destination for Angkor temple tourists. Thus, it must draw enough attention that it will fund the permanent protection of both the Observation and Conservation lands. This success will, in turn, make it clear to governments around the world that eco-sensitive tourism can also form the model for permanent protection of their endangered eco-systems. Without this realization, as the world population continues to grow, there will soon be no place for wild animals anywhere. Today, there is almost no wild habitat for Asian elephants or any tigers to live. Eco-tourism can change this downward spiral.
To meet this challenge, the CWS team has met and analyzed the possibilities, time and again. Ultimately, various design goals were developed, tempered by the ethical issues which over-ride this project. For example, after extensive debate, it has been determined that no tourist/animal contact (much like the Koala exhibits in Sydney and Melbourne) will be provided. These contacts are mesmerizing and hugely popular. But, the risk of an irresponsible moment weigh so heavily that it has been decided that animal welfare and peace must control all that we do.
The current design is intended to provide a totally stress free, natural existence for the animals. Yet, the tourists will see unique and unparalleled viewing. Examples include plans to provide subsurface viewing of elephants and tigers swimming in their respective areas. A tree top canopy walk way is also planned to offer amazing views, without adverse impact on the animals.
One of the primary features will involve an “elephant raceway.” This will consist of a large and extensive pathway throughout the Observation area which the elephants are free to travel. The tourists will never know when the elephants might migrate past their trail en route to some other part of the sanctuary. Their “raceway” eventually winds its way down from the canopy into the marsh areas, leading into the ponds where they can swim and underwater viewing is possible.
An extensive aviary is also planned to provide a home for captive birds incapable of wild release. At the same time, feeding opportunities and protection will also attract and help sustain the wild birds of the region. Similarly, appropriate plants will also insure a beautiful display of butterflys in their seasons.
An extensive video camera system is also planned, with remote access and control. The on site tourists can control the cameras in each habitat, while the views they select can be observed on the CWS website world wide. New ideas are evolving as we proceed. We would more than welcome your thoughts and ideas. Please feel free to contact us.
Find out more about the Conservation Area.