Statue of Kouprey, National Animal of Cambodia, on the way to the zoo.
Phnom Tamao located about 40 km south of Phnom Penh, travel along nation road number 2 and continue another 5 km down a trail at the right. Phnom Tamao is a popular destination for weekend travelers from Phnom Penh. It features mountains, the biggest national zoo, and some ancient temples. The site is popular for the local visitors as well as foreigners because of many kinds of wildlife were collected and it’s the only official wildlife sanctuary in Cambodia. Phnom Tamao Zoo was officially opened by Prime Minister Hun Sen in 2000.
The entire area of Phnom Tamao covers 2500 hectares which is treated as protected forest area. The national zoo is set up as a preserve and rescue center for rare and endangered local wildlife in a large enclosure of 70 hectares (and now is enlarging). It is under the supervision of the Forestry Department of Ministry of Agriculture with the sponsor by Wildaid and the Free the Bears Fund. Most of the animals at Phnom Tamao Zoo are rare animal and are confiscated from traffickers or saved from poachers traps which are too sick or too young to be survive in the wild, so they are kept to be taking care and Phnom Tamao Zoo become their permanent residents. Despite of this, about 95% of of the animals saved by Wildaid are released within days.
Phnom Tamao Zoo is the home for at least 84 varieties of birds, quadrupeds, and reptiles, in a total of around 800 animals. Visitors would have to walk or it is better to ride on a motorbike and stop between enclosures of animals around the zoo. It’s take about two hours time to generally travel the whole site.
Phnom Tamao Zoo – A herd of large deers.
A lazy lonely big bird, he doesn’t care with anyone walking around him, but keep looking for something on the ground.
Phnom Tamao Zoo, Crocodile. Who could count how many teeth he has?
A kind of Squirrel? I couldn’t find the information board at its case.
Phnom Tamao Zoo, Yellow-Throat Marten. Its life span is about 14 years.
Phnom Tamao Zoo. This is a real turtle, isn’t it? He is trying to run away from my camera..
Phnom Tamao Zoo. A fatty healthy wild boar.The local said, wild boar is originally found in the area of Phnom Tamao forest and they was under threaten from the hunters for food. But now they are safe under the protection from Phnom Tamao zoo.
Phnom Tamao Zoo. White Dove
Phnom Tamao Zoo. Grey-headed fish eagle
Phnom Tamao Zoo. They look so pretty with their colorful feathers. Their Khmer name called Popul.
Large Flying Fox, a kind of mammal. They are hanging themself just like this during day times in dark cave or big tall trees, and they go out for food hunting at night. They have very good eyes and nose to search for food which are ripe fruits or flowers. Their life span is 15 years, each female flying fox has only one child.
Phnom Tamao Zoo. Kouprey – National Animal of Cambodia
Phnom Tamao Zoo. Indo-Chinese leopard.The Leopard lives in almost all types of forested areas. They prey on species such as wild boar, deer, monkeys, and large birds. They are extremely good climbers and will often take a kill up into the trees to avoid other predators such as Tiger and Dhole. There are two color of them, the black form and the spotted form. The Leopard is the most widespread large cat species in the world, ranging throughout Africa and most of Southern Asia, as far north as Russia. However, it has been persecuted by man as a predator of domestic animals or hunted for its beautiful skin. It is now considered to be rare in the wild of Cambodia.
Phnom Tamao Zoo, Tiger.
Phnom Tamao Zoo, Elephant. He is washing before his dancing show. There is elephant dancing show at the weekend at around 3pm.
Phnom Tamao Zoo – Sun Bear
Within the area of Phnom Tamao there are five mountains, among them their are two which has top with ancient temple. They are Phnom Tamao with Phnom Tamao Temple and Phnom Tamao pagoda, Phnom Thmor Dos with Thmor Dos Temple on top.
Phnom Tamao Temple was built in 11th century in the reign of king Udayadityavarman II (AD 1050-1066) under Baphuon style. Nowadays, most parts of the temple are heavily damaged.
Tamao Mountain with Phnom Tamao Pagoda on top, turn lelf to the entrance of Phnom Tamao Zoo
Thmor Dos Temple was built in 11th century too. The construction materials are brick and sandstone. The temple is 7.5 meters square and 13 meters high, originally built as the worship place for Brahmanism. Now Thmor Dos Temple still can keep in good shape, but it is turn to be a Buddhist shrine. ‘Thmor Dos’ means ‘growing stone’, the temple was so named because inside there is a huge stone keeping growing higher and higher through time.
Thmor Dos Temple. Taken in August 2011
A big piece of standstone carving placed at the left side of Thmor Dos temple. It was the lingtel of this temple entrance. The carving is mostly damage, however we still can identify that it is about Hindu Gods. Is it probably Shiva is dancing? Below him could be his wife Uma, since only Ganesha his son is clearly identified.
Thmor Dos Temple – Ganesha among other Hindu divinities in the carving
Thmor Dos Temple – The pillar is under Baphuon style with the carving of meditating hermit.
The Growing-stone inside Thmor Dos Temple, beside is the bricks of this temple.
Thmor Dos Temple – The Buddha Shrine inside the temple. At the middle is Buddha with Bhumisparsa Mudra. At the left is Maitreya, at the right is the Goddess of the Earth. In front is Nirvana Buddha.
The stair case leading to Thmor Dos Temple (35 meters high) decorate with serpents.