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“Amazing Rescue Center and Free The Bears Program” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center

Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center
National Road 2 | Takmao Province, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
+855 95 970 175
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Ranked #8 of 47 attractions in Phnom Penh
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Behind-the-scenes tours with Wildlife Alliance allow private access to the tiger dens, baby animals in nursery, the elephant enclosure (for feeding and bathing elephants, walking them through the forest, getting painted in a new t-shirt by humanely trained Lucky, watching Chhouk's training to change his prosthetic foot) and a personalized tour complete with rescue stories of the animals. Tour proceeds go directly to the rescue and care of wildlife. Tour information is shown above (see Website) or go to Wildlife Alliance - Get Involved - Phnom Tamao Wildlife Tours.With over 1,200 animals including elephants, tigers, bears, gibbons, crocodiles, leopards and many others, the wildlife rescue center can be visited as a day-trip from Phnom Penh. The center can be visited independently, or through Interactive Wildlife Tours with Wildlife Alliance (to raise money for the rescue, care & release of elephants, tigers and other wildlife), or through bear keeper visits or volunteering with Free the Bears (to raise money for bear care) or with independent tour operators.Most animals at the center were rescued from the illegal wildlife trade by the Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team, a patrol team created by an environmental non-profit organization called Wildlife Alliance (a non-profit organization) in coordination with the Cambodian Government. Animals rescued are released back into the wild whenever possible or they are given a home at the Wildlife Rescue Center for as long as needed. Many of the species are listed as Endangered or Vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The largest zoo in Cambodia, Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center (PTWRC) was established in 1995. Since 2001, PTWRC has been run by the Cambodian Forestry Administration in partnership with Wildlife Alliance. Wildlife Alliance animal husbandry specialists, veterinarians, and care takers assist in the feeding and care of animals and operations at this government-run facility set over 6,000 acres of protected regenerating forest. Other NGOs are involved in PTWRC by providing care for specific animals: Free the Bears, Fauna & Flora International, Conservation International.
Khon Kaen, Khon Kaen, Thailand
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Amazing Rescue Center and Free The Bears Program”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2013

If you are in Phnom Pehn, go to this rescue center and do the bear keeper for a day program with Free the Bears!

Free the Bears is a really remarkable organization that is dedicated to protecting bears from around the world, though they work mostly in India and Southeast Asia. Bears are tormented as pets, tortured and maimed for body parts to use in food and products for traditional "medicinal" use, and smuggled in this part of the world. It is a sad reality, but Free the Bears has done some really amazing things and made a lot of great progress. The story of their organization is inspiring as well, it started with one very brave woman simply asking, "What can I do to solve this problem?"

Picked up from Phnom Pehn, you get to go through a "daily routine" of a Sun Bear keeper, they have lots of them at the park, rescued from smugglers, hunters, and as pets.

It was really amazing, you get real close to the bears, enough to see their own unique personalities come through! They do really great work here, and many bears were in terrible conditions before they came here, some are blind and have missing limbs from traps.

You get to see all of the care and love that goes into managing these beautiful creatures. In addition you get to see moon bears, lions, tigers, leopards, monkeys, and many other species of rescued animals at the rescue center.

The staff, both foreign and Cambodian, are really wonderful, and you can tell these people really care about the animals and the vision of the rescue center. They are dedicated to sustainability, they are carbon neutral and use mostly solar power. In addition, they employ mostly local Cambodians and provide ecologically sound community-based conservation.

I have been to many countries all over the world, and seen quite a lot, but this was a really great, unique, and memorable experience. Life changing!

Go! Go! Go! :)

Visited November 2013
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Brisbane, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“A Must Do”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2013

Having read reviews, we decided to do the Behind the Scenes Tour and were so glad we did! We were picked up from our hotel and driven out to the center in an airconditioned van. We stopped at the markets to get some fruit for the monkeys and then headed on out for day. Our guides Tori and Vuth were brilliant. They had a genuine interest in the center and the animals and gave the tour a personal side. We met Lucky the elephant and had our shirts painted by her, saw the monkeys, sun bears, tigers, hand fed the monkeys and so much more. Lunch and drinking water were provided. If we had visited the center by ourselves, it would not have been near the experience we had (see other reviews). The cost of the tour goes to the Wildlife Alliance who are doing great work here and throughout Cambodia. Check it out!

Visited October 2013
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Mornington, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Amazing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2013

I had the good fortune to participate in the "Behind the scenes " tour just recently and I am so glad I did. It was truly an amazing day.
Emma and the team were wonderful and very informative.
After being picked up from the hotel we traveled about an hour out of town and arrived at the park where we were greeted by Lucky the elephant , a great start to the day.
A highlight of the day is definitely having a t-shirt painted by Lucky .
There are many other wonderful animals to see including many that are endemic to Cambodia.
It was wonderful to see these magnificent animals up close and to hear the stories of how they arrived there ,although the stories were mostly sad , their future is definitely brighter under the care of these dedicated caring people.
100% of the admission cost goes back into the rescue center , so if you are looking for a amazing experience and helping a fabulous cause this is the place to visit.
Would love to visit again next time I visit Cambodia.

Visited October 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“A perfect way to spend a weekend with children”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013

Nice place..ppl wanna try on the local khmer food dnt bother orelse i wud suggest to carry your own picnic lunch..
Animals seen was lions...chimp.. otter...gaur...sambar...barkin deer...turtles...elephants..bears..
The kids seem to have enjoyed and did we...

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Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
41 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Up close and personal without getting eaten”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2013

We travelled with Betelnut tours. The guides love and know animals. Their enthusiasm is fantastic. Expect to be surrounded by animal lovers and expect to be in awe of the elephants... The trip is one that is well worth it and the venue is popular with locals as well. The lunch area will be packed. It rained heavily without notice the day we were there. No matter how sunny it looks if you do not want to get soaked carry your umbrella. I love the fact that these were local animals and there was a reason they were here and not returned to the wild (except for the lions which were left over from when it was a zoo).

Visited October 2013
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Phnom Tamao WRC T, Wildlife Alliance behind-the-scenes tour guide at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center, responded to this review, November 5, 2013
Hi Bruce, so glad you had a fun day with Betelnut! You may be interested to know that some of the rescued animals you saw are being rehabilitated for release. In fact, the rescue center was never a zoo; since its establishment in 1995 it has been a safe home and rehabilitation center for the 1200+ animals that have been rescued in Cambodia, most of them from the illegal wildlife trade by the Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team created by Wildlife Alliance and the Cambodian government. Even the lion had been illegally kept as a pet in Cambodia - Can you imagine? For more background information, visit the Wildlife Alliance website - What We Do - Wildlife.

If you would like to return to interact with the rescued animals and learn more about them while contributing to their care, we invite you to take the behind-the-scenes tour with Wildlife Alliance, the non-profit organization that aids the Cambodian Forestry Administration in rescuing, caring for, rehabilitating and often releasing wildlife in Cambodia. The tour provides access to private areas of the rescue center to interact with elephants, tigers, monkeys, baby animals at the nursery, all accompanied by a Wildlife Alliance guide to give you background information on the animals and plans for their future. 100% of tour profits go directly to the rescue and care of wildlife in Cambodia.

The tour includes transport a covered, air-conditioned van (umbrellas are also provided in case of rain, though we are entering the dry season now) with pick up and drop off in Phnom Penh, lunch, a tshirt painted by our humanely trained elephant Lucky, and cold water all day.

To learn more about tours, check out the Wildlife Alliance website - Get Involved - Phnom Tamao Wildlife Tours.

We hope to see you next time!
Tori
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