An Elephant in Cambodia: Sambo's Survival

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Kung-fu Hillbilly
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An Elephant in Cambodia: Sambo's Survival

Post by Kung-fu Hillbilly »

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Andrea Ross
April 2019


While Sambo’s story of survival might not be quite as fantastic as Dumbo’s, it is symbolic of the struggle that Cambodia has faced over the past 40 plus years.

Sambo’s owner originally had six elephants, but when Cambodia fell to the Khmer Rouge he was forced to hand them over for the “collective good.” The regime managed to work five of those elephants to death, leaving just Sambo perilously alive.

After the war, her owner heard that she had survived and struck out to find her. Tethered to a mountain, Sambo was weak and hungry, but alive, and she returned to Phnom Penh along with thousands of others in an effort to rebuild a broken country.

While Sambo was serving as a school bus on the streets of Phnom Penh, foreign aid and embassy workers were returning to the city, and these foreigners enjoyed seeing an elephant in their exotic new home. They brought Sambo treats and presents, and Sambo’s owner realized that she had earning potential. Cue the flying elephant…For years Sambo walked up and down the Riverwalk in Phnom Penh or around the base of Wat Phnom, and tourists could pay to feed her bananas or to ride her around.

I haven’t seen the new “Dumbo” movie yet, but I remember my heartbreaking sadness after watching the original animated film – watching Dumbo being separated from his mother, living in captivity, being bullied and forced to fly. But ultimately, it is a story of redemption and survival, much like the story of Sambo… and of Cambodia itself.

Full https://www.wildfrontierstravel.com/en_ ... s-survival
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John Bingham
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Re: An Elephant in Cambodia: Sambo's Survival

Post by John Bingham »

After the war, her owner heard that she had survived and struck out to find her. Tethered to a mountain, Sambo was weak and hungry, but alive, and she returned to Phnom Penh along with thousands of others in an effort to rebuild a broken country.
I never heard about this monumental effort by thousands of like-minded elephants.
Silence, exile, and cunning.
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