Cambodia’s Famous Tourist Elephant Retires After 3 Decades


Sambo Cambodia elephant retire

If you’ve been to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, you’ve probably met Sambo – the most famous tourist elephant in town. This week, Sambo is making headlines because at 54 years old, she’s ready for retirement.

SEE ALSO: Chiang Mai, Thailand: Local Village, Trekking, Bamboo Rafting, and Riding Elephants

During her farewell, 50 people took part in an event held on last Tuesday. Sambo received blessings from Buddhist monks and was given an abundance of fruits. After retirement, Sambo will live at the Elephant Livelihood Initiative Environment (ELIE) in Seima Protected Forest in the northeast province of Mondulkiri.

Sambo Cambodia elephant tourist

Owner of Sambo, Sin Sorn, who also worked with Sambo for more than 40 years, said to reporters:

She is like my sister. She helped me to earn money to buy food and pay for my children’s education. We owe Sambo a great debt and it is time to pay her back. It is a great thing that Sambo returns to the wildlife sanctuary since elephants are wild animals and belong to the forest. We will spend about 15,000 U.S. dollars a year to care for her including food, salary for keepers and medical treatment. She is one of the luckiest elephants in Cambodia.

For three decades, Sambo has given rides to tourists in the famous Wat Phnom site, but due to an infected foot, she had to leave the city.

Sambo Cambodia elephant

At ELIE, Sambo will live with nine other elephants and receive veterinary assistance. Presently, there are more than 500 wild elephants living in Cambodia. Sambo will now live in relaxation with other elephants in natural environment.

What do you think of Sambo’s retirement? Let us know in the comments below. 

Photos: Facebook/Elephant Livelihood Initiative Environment,Diyon Khun

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Categories: In Crowd

Author:Jetset Times

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