Sambo the Elephant will be back at Wat Phnom!

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General Mackevili
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Sambo the Elephant will be back at Wat Phnom!

Postby General Mackevili » Wed May 28, 2014 9:21 am

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Ok. I know this might be considered cruel to most. Because it is. But I have to admit, Wat Phnom lost its charm when Sambo left, and most it's character when they took out all the monkeys.

One of my favourite memories from the first time my mom came to Cambodia for a visit from the States was taking a ride around Wat Phnom on Sambo (one loop for $20, ouch), during rush hour traffic, dodging traffic (ok, maybe the traffic was dodging us).

It was also fun driving through the city and then , WOW, out of nowhere, there's a huge elephant you're about to collide with! !

And all that said, there is NO WAY Sambo should be back to work at Wat Phnom! Her feet are fucked, and she's old. I personally think the owner should have to do 10 years of community service by giving backpackers a free piggyback ride around Wat Phnom himself. Despicable.

The article says she "might" come back, but I'm guessing it's certain. As long as the owner and some random people are getting their palms greased, it's a done deal.


Short-lived retirement for Sambo?

Two years after she was walked out of the city in the middle of the night to a quiet life of retirement on the outskirts of the capital, Sambo, Phnom Penh’s iconic and much-beloved elephant, might soon be back at work entertaining tourists.

With funding for her recently concluded rehabilitation program now gone, her owner is insisting he has little choice but to begin showcasing her once more at Wat Phnom, a decision contested by the elephant rescue organisation that bankrolled her two-year sabbatical.

Sin Sorn, who owns Sambo, says that as the pair are no longer supported by the Elephant Asia Rescue and Survival foundation (EARS), he cannot afford to pay for her food and medical care without the steady income he earned for the more than 20 years that she was a tourist attraction at the temple.

The decades that 54-year-old Sambo spent walking on hard concrete and gravel while giving rides resulted in a painful abscess on a foot, overgrown toenails and a host of other issues, causing her to limp.

After a veterinarian retained by EARS warned in 2012 that a further deterioration in her “painfully lame” condition could lead Sambo to collapse on the city’s streets, Sorn agreed to move her to a plot of land for rest and medical treatment.

That contract expired in March, leaving EARS and Sorn at loggerheads about what happens next.

“I do not have money to support her anymore. I will bring her back to Wat Phnom, but I will not allow people to ride her while she walks like in the past,” Sorn said yesterday at the sandy Phnom Penh Thmey compound where Sambo has lived since February 2012, as the elephant shovelled sugar cane into its mouth behind him.

“I spend $15 a day just on Sambo’s food … [In the city], she will just stand in one place and tourists or people can touch her, take photos with her or buy fruits that I will sell to feed her.”

EARS has spent $45,000 over the two-year period paying for Sambo’s medical care and a monthly compensation package for Sorn to help fund an assistant caregiver, food, electricity and water and to cover his loss of earnings.

Sambo’s feet are in a far better condition than before, but EARS founder and CEO Louise Rogerson says sending her back to the city would be the worst possible decision for the elephant’s welfare.

“She’s never going to fully recover 100 per cent, but what we’ve done is given her an intensive medical program over the last two years,” she said.

“It has been a very slow rehabilitation process, there is absolutely no way she can go back to the city. It would be impossible for her to walk on hot tarmac roads.… It would basically be animal cruelty.”

...click link to continue reading...

http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/s ... ment-sambo" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Sambo the Elephant will be back at Wat Phnom!

Postby Bitte_Kein_Lexus » Wed May 28, 2014 10:03 am

Holy Fuck... Hopefully the authorities have a bit of common sense and it doesn't happen. He basically wants a retirement fund for himself. Newsflash: if you don't have the cash, donate it to phnom tamao!
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Re: Sambo the Elephant will be back at Wat Phnom!

Postby General Mackevili » Wed May 28, 2014 10:36 am

I'm guessing it's also possible that another NGO could step in and offer him a "retirement settlement," which he'd take no doubt, and after another year, he'd have plans to make poor Sambo walk the plank again.
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Re: Sambo the Elephant will be back at Wat Phnom!

Postby Dara » Wed May 28, 2014 10:40 am

OK, You can not think like an elephant.

Your brain is much smaller. Can't happen.

The owner's plan will work. I used to go there to feed
the elephant. I did not want to ride. At the time, the owner
was not with that concept. Now he is. It will work.

SHE.....
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Re: Sambo the Elephant will be back at Wat Phnom!

Postby vladimir » Wed May 28, 2014 12:30 pm

General Mackevili wrote:I'm guessing it's also possible that another NGO could step in and offer him a "retirement settlement," which he'd take no doubt, and after another year, he'd have plans to make poor Sambo walk the plank again.
Damn, if only I can find an elephant...

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Re: Sambo the Elephant will be back at Wat Phnom!

Postby frank lee bent » Wed May 28, 2014 12:44 pm

Hasn't he been around since UNTAC days?
He has to eat, so like me, will likely continue to work unless a kind soul funds his retirement.
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Re: Sambo the Elephant will be back at Wat Phnom!

Postby Dara » Wed May 28, 2014 1:36 pm

SHE !

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Re: Sambo the Elephant will be back at Wat Phnom!

Postby General Mackevili » Wed May 28, 2014 1:47 pm

Dara wrote:SHE !

Right you are! Already updated, thanks.
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Re: Sambo the Elephant will be back at Wat Phnom!

Postby Bitte_Kein_Lexus » Wed May 28, 2014 1:57 pm

She bought it off someone or was it her dad's elephant? If it was some old khmer rouge guy trying to get by I'd be more understanding... She doesn't get any sympathy from me.
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Re: Sambo the Elephant will be back at Wat Phnom!

Postby StroppyChops » Wed May 28, 2014 6:23 pm

Not sure how it would work in the tropics (and not commenting either way on the ethics) but Western Australia's favourite elephant Tricia (now deceased) had the same issue with split feet after being kept for decades on concrete. The vets had orthopaedic boots created for her that were a great success for her last decade. Sponsorship opportunity.
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