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Thread: Phnom Penh: City bids adieu to Sambo

  1. #1
    Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Hatari's Avatar
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    Phnom Penh: City bids adieu to Sambo

    There have been protests, fundraisers, bickering for several years over the fate of Sambo the elephant

    Now at last, a restful retirement

    City bids adieu to Sambo
    Wed, 26 November 2014



    One evening next week, after the sun goes down and the temperature cools, Cambodia’s most famous elephant will be quietly ushered into a modified shipping container.

    A crane will then lift the container bearing the 3,600-kilogram pachyderm onto the back of a truck, and after 33 years in Phnom Penh, Sambo the elephant will travel north to Mondulkiri province to live out the rest of her days in the forests of an elephant sanctuary.

    At a Buddhist ceremony yesterday to mark her imminent departure, the iconic animal – who spent years carrying tourists on her back as an attraction at Wat Phnom, to her physical detriment – was draped in a flower garland as monks chanted and her owner cried.

    Tables were laid out bearing her favourite foods – bananas, rambutans, potatoes, apples, cucumbers – which were eventually lavished on the animal by the 40 or so guests.

    “I do not want Sambo to stay here anymore even though I will miss her, because this place is small and she needs somewhere larger to live in a natural environment,” said owner Sin Sorn, 57, who has lived with the 54-year-old elephant since he was a boy.

    “I consider her as my sister.”

    Earlier this year, amid disagreements with the Hong Kong-based Elephant Asia Rescue and Survival Foundation that had organised Sambo’s departure from Wat Phnom in 2012 to this patch of land near Phnom Penh International Airport for rest and medical treatment, Sorn had expressed his intention to bring her back to the city to work, citing financial strain.

    But after international outcry from the many supporters who had funded Sambo’s two-year sabbatical, and subsequent opposition from City Hall, Sorn relented and has agreed that she can retire at the Elephant Valley Project in Mondulkiri’s Seima Protected Forest instead. In return, he will be hired as an adviser at the sanctuary, meaning regular visits and a salary.

    “I will lose some income after Sambo leaves, but I am happy with that because my Sambo will be happy too with her new life.”

    Jack Highwood, manager of the Elephant Valley Project (EVP), said it would cost $15,000 a year to support Sambo. She will join nine other elephants at the sanctuary and would “learn to be an elephant again”, he said. “It’s a long process. It’s not that you just put an elephant in a truck and go up and drop her down.”

    According to Highwood, Sambo is expected to live for about another decade.

    Years of walking on hard concrete and gravel in the city resulted in an abscess on Sambo’s foot, among other issues, causing her to limp.

    An online crowdfunding campaign and support from the US-based Abraham Foundation has raised a significant amount of funds for her treatment and living costs, while USAID are paying for her transport to Mondulkiri.

    **********
    earlier pic, Wed, 28 May 2014

    Sambo the elephant gets hosed down by one of her caretakers yesterday on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. Sambo retired two years ago after spending more than 20 years as a tourist attraction at Phnom Penh’s Wat Phnom
    Last edited by Hatari; 28th November 2014 at 04:41.
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  2. #2
    Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Hatari's Avatar
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    My pic of Sambo

    6 April 2011


    15 December 2010

  3. #3
    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Changone's Avatar
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    Amazing that the owner has lived with the elephant for more than 50 years.
    I doubt that he will be parted from her for long. And nice that he too gets some form of "Retirement" along with his long serving friend.
    And where the hell was Biggles.....?....when you needed him last Saturday....?

  4. #4
    Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Hatari's Avatar
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    liked this pic - a change from spending all day walking circles around Wat Phnom Penh


    Sambo is led into her new home at an elephant sanctuary in Mondolkiri province by her owner, Sin Sorn, on Wednesday.

    For Phnom Penh’s Elephant, One Final Journey
    DECEMBER 6, 2014

    After a four-day journey across the country—and more than 30 years working on the capital’s streets—Phnom Penh’s former resident elephant finally returned to the jungle this week, arriving at her new home in Mondolkiri on Wednesday.

    With barely a glance at a large pile of fruit assembled in her honor, Sambo the elephant made straight for a patch of bamboo at the Elephant Valley Project (EVP) in Sen Monorom district, according to the project’s founder, Jack Highwood.

    “She’s already starting to rumble —a noise elephants make to communicate with each other—and I’ve never heard her rumble before,” Mr. Highwood said, add*ing that the 54-year-old pachyderm had also indulged in a mud bath.

    “We’re going to wait a couple of weeks to introduce her to other elephants [because] we want to get her strong first, fatten her up and start her exercising, because she hasn’t been exercising for the last few years,” he said.

    “When you looked at her in Phnom Penh she seemed so strong, but when she’s around the trees and stuff, you can see that she’s a frail elephant. The years haven’t been kind to her.”
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  5. #5
    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน PeteGill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatari View Post
    With barely a glance at a large pile of fruit assembled in her honor, Sambo the elephant made straight for a patch of bamboo at the Elephant Valley Project (EVP) in Sen Monorom district, according to the project’s founder, Jack Highwood.
    Typical woman, never happy with the gifts that you give them 55555
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  6. #6
    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Changone's Avatar
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    I like that picture.
    They say an Elephant never forgets and it looks as though She's already right back on track.
    Kind of how I'd like retirement to be...
    Quarky likes this.
    And where the hell was Biggles.....?....when you needed him last Saturday....?

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