Friday, March 26, 2010

Phnom Penh (Cambodia): Feeding Sambo, the Elephant

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

After seeing the atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge, it is refreshing to see and feed Sambo ,the elephant at Wat Phnom. Sambo, a 10-foot-tall, 4,000-pound elephant who spends her days giving rides in Cambodia's capital city is the last remaining elephant in Phnom Penh,having survived the machetes of the Khmer Rouge.Sambo is in her sixties now along with her owner Sorn.

Our Couchsurfing host, Elma, is committed to feed Sambo every Friday. She brings bananas, mangoes, apples, pears, sugar cane and watermelon. Because we wanted to see this Phnom Penh's most visible cultural icon, she allowed us to feed Sambo as part of our itinerary for March 21, 2010 (Sunday).

We had a wonderful experience seeing Sambo grasps the offering with her trunk, gobbling the entire bunch in one bite. Although she appears for tourists from 7 am to 4 pm everyday and give rides,we are content to just see her get fed as she needs food around the clock. Her owner sits next to his lifelong partner each day, to monitor Sambo's condition in the heat, hose her off, and make sure she gets her 150 pounds of sugar cane and bananas.

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