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Drought threatens sacred fish at Bakong temple

Va Sonyka / Khmer Times Share:
Many catfish in the Bakong temple ponds have died due tcebook o drought in Siem Reap province. Fa

The Apsara Authority yesterday announced, in cooperation with the local pagoda and authorities, it has taken immediate action to safeguard wildlife at Bakong temple after droughts have endangered the sacred fish which inhabit its surrounding moat.

Apsara Authority spokesman Long Kosal said the weather in Siem Reap province is still very hot and dry prior to the rainy season.

He said that there is still no rain forecast so far, causing the moat at Bakong Temple in Prasat Bakong district to almost dry out, endangering the fish which have relied on it for decades.

“Over 10 fishes, weighing up to 20 kilogrammes each, have died since Tuesday. We have already buried the fishes following discussions between the authority and the monks of Prasat Bakong’s pagoda,” said Mr Kosal.

Sok Sangvar, deputy director-general of the Apsara Authority said the authority has been cooperating with Prasat Bakong district’s authority and head of the Pagoda since yesterday to protect the fish residing in the temple moat.

A boy lies beside a big catfish from the Bakong temple pond in Siem Reap province. Facebook

As a result of the cooperation, he said, three immediate measures have been decided upon.

“Firstly, we will be bringing in water from another source to fill the moat. We are also inviting local citizens and authorities to help clean the current soil in the moat and finally will build a well to supply water for the fishes in the future,” he said.

Mr Kosal said: “In the meantime, the fishes are still being fed to ensure they survive.”

“In addition, the authority will also use a pond inside the current moat to keep the fish until the larger moat has enough water,” he said.

“There are approximately 30 fishes still alive inside the moat that will be saved,” he added.

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