Home > Local News > Subdued Sambo headed for the zoo

Subdued Sambo headed for the zoo

Thursday, 16 December 2010 20:55 Adam Miller and Buth Reaksmey Kongkea 
Sambo the elephant wanders through a field in Kampong Speu province after being shot with a tranquiliser dart on Wednesday.
Authorities are hoping for a fairytale ending to the story of Sambo,
the violent bull elephant that has wreaked havoc on villagers in
Kampong Speu province over the past two weeks, who will be taken to
Phnom Tamao Zoo and possibly paired with a fiery female companion.

Sambo,
who is about 50-years-old, killed his owner on December 3 and ran amok,
chasing locals and destroying their crops in Mon village, until he was
tranquilised  and restrained on Wednesday night.

Cheng Kimsun,
director of the Forestry Administration, said yesterday that the
aggressive elephant would be sent for “re-education” at Phnom Tamao Zoo
in Takeo province in about a week.

He said the Forestry Administration decided yesterday that Sambo would not be killed, even if he were to turn violent again.

“According to our animal experts, Sambo has almost humanlike senses,” he said.

“He
can understand people’s behaviours and their activities. The reason why
he became so cruel was because he was tortured by his owner and was
also violated and disturbed by people.”

He said officials hoped that conditions at the zoo would help rehabilitate the elephant.

“Sambo is not crazy but he has lived a very stressful life because he had been mistreated for so many years,” he said.

“He was chained down, he could not go anywhere and he also had no wife – he needs his freedom.”

Marriage plans?

Nhek
Ratanapich, the director of Phnom Tamao Zoo, said Sambo’s new living
place would possibly be situated near a 45-year-old female elephant
named Srey Pao, who he said is similarly aggressive.

“We want to
put Sambo together with Srey Pao in our zoo but we are afraid that they
will not like each other because they didn’t know each other before,”
he said.

“So now we are thinking that first we will just put
Sambo in an enclosure nearby Srey Pao, and after they get to know each
other well enough we will marry them and put them together in their own
enclosure.”

He said he hoped the company would help to calm Sambo.

Phnom Penh Post 
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Categories: Local News
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