A very ‘Lucky’ elephant // Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre

On my first visit to Cambodia, researching tours, I met Lucky at forest based Phnom Tamao Rescue Centre. We went walking and she encourage me to join her for a swim. If it wasn’t for the cam I would of bathed with her and hereby promise to put the damn Nikon down sometimes so I can get closer and wetter!

I’d seen the elephants at Angkor, dressed and trussed for tourists to ride on and I didn’t feel comfortable with that. I’d also met Sambo the only elephant left in Phnom Penh, working seven days a week for rides with painfully abscessed feet. But here, around an hours drive outside Phnom Penh, Phnom Tamao is home to a huge range of species. Rescued animals like Lucky the elephant can walk freely in the surrounding forests, you need to be there around 2/3pm to go for a walk with her, find her keeper Sitheng, and you might be able to have a bath with her too! It is large scale, maybe a bit laborious in a tuk tuk but great for a four wheel day trip, grab a picnic and go explore…

I visited with Nick Marx, Director of Rescue for Wildlife Alliance, who introduced me to the tigers that he has raised after saving them from illegal trading. Nick is a man dedicated to his task and as he took me for a peek to meet the tigers ‘back stage’ I watched as they sniffed his forearms and made low welcoming growls for the man they know as friend. Find out more about Nick, his work and watch this great vid…

If you are planning your trip to Cambodia would like to meet Lucky on a photo tour great for the whole family (including picnic, photo guide, donation to Wildlife Alliance and transport) just drop me a line via the contact page.


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