Cambodia Reopens Hunting After 55-Year Closure


Published: February - 2009

After 55 years of being closed to hunting. Cambodia is expected to host its first international hunters this coming December. The operator who has managed to open this destination is Felix Barrado Zabas of Nsok Safaris.

We first told you about this development last January when a report by Reuters surfaced about Barrado's efforts to open Cambodia. Editor Barbara Crown stopped by the Nsok Safaris booth at the SCI convention this past month to get an update. According to Nsok Safaris representative Ernest Gonzales, Barrado and Cambodian authorities are preparing to issue an official announcement about the opening of hunting some time this month.

Turns out Barrado has been working with Cambodian authorities for the past five years to develop a pilot program and conduct research for sustainable game management with wildlife biologists. That research has been completed and anti-poaching teams put in place. Barrado has exclusive access to an area covering 110,000 hectares (271,815 acres) in eastern Cambodia near the border with Vietnam. The area is virgin wilderness with a few villages along the outskirts. Barrado intends to put in a handful of roads for access and is building a camp there over the coming spring/summer. The planned camp is said to be a high-end affair. He is also hiring and training indigenous people as camp staff and trackers. All the meat from the hunts is earmarked for the villages. Hunting will run from December through March, before the monsoons arrive in April.

At press time, the Cambodian government had not issued the final list of huntable species, but Gon- zales says there are a potential 30-40 species available. The list includes three species of bovine (gaur, banteng and feral Asian water buffalo); seven types of deer (including sambar, two kinds of muntjac and mouse deer), serow, two kinds of leopards, dhole (Asiatic wild dog), jackal, seven species of wild jungle cats, several civets, two bears (including Himalayan black bear), wild boar and several species of monkey. The definitive list is to be released this month. Gonzales says CITES export permits for........(continued)

 
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