The Environment Ministry has begun discussions with relevant partners to assemble a plan to import tigers from India and release them in the Sre Pok Wildlife Sanctuary in Mondulkiri province.
Environment Ministry officials met with WWF and other partners to begin discussions on the plan, which is aimed at reintroducing tigers into Cambodia.
The working group will travel to Mondulkiri province to conduct further investigations this week, retuning to Phnom Penh by the weekend.
Environment Ministry spokesman Sao Sopheap said Sre Pok Wildlife Sanctuary was chosen as the location to release the tigers because it is a large area full of resources for the tigers to survive.
The government and WWF plan to release a total of eight tigers into the wild in Mondulkiri province by 2022.
“We have not yet determined how many tigers we would put in the area for the first and second phase,” he said. “When the experts give us feedback about the time and the proper conditions to bring the tigers, we will follow their advice.”
Prime Minister Hun Sen last month said he supported the importation and breeding of tigers in the country at the 2nd National Forum on Protection and Conservation of Natural Resources, organised by the Environment Ministry.
WWF Country Director Seng Teak said the reintroduction of tigers through conservation in the Sre Pok Wildlife Sanctuary would enable the region to ensure tigers’ survival for the future.
According to a 2007 Environment Ministry report, there were 10 to 15 tigers in Cambodian forest. None have been spotted for at least the past year.
The illegal tiger trade is one of the main reasons why tigers are disappearing across the world. More than 100 tigers are killed each year and their parts sold for profit through international criminal enterprises.