Roadway Casualties at Angkor Archaeological Park

John, a recently abandoned pet monkey, was trying to survive on the outskirts of the Carbzilla Troop, at Angkor Wat. He was hit and killed by a car on the highway, right outside the entrance to Angkor Archaeological Park, on July 5, 2020.

This is not an isolated incident.

Along the road where John was hit, live several well-known troops of monkeys. Many of the abandoned pets, and baby and juvenile monkeys living there, become roadway casualties at Angkor Archaeological Park.  The monkeys of Carbzilla, Amber, Titus, Krabby and Amari troops all call the park home. It’s not unusual for them to cross the busy roads, several times each day. They know where they can best find food.  But finding food is sometimes alongside the road, rather than on the other side of it.

Feeding of monkeys alongside the road…

People who feed the monkeys are not necessarily visiting the temple either. They pull over to the side of the road, open the car window, and feed the monkeys without exiting their cars. Unfortunately, the practice of feeding them from vehicles, encourages the monkeys to return to the roadside. They sit on the tarmac, looking for more food.

Feeding monkeys by the roadside puts them at greater risk from wildlife traffickers, as well.  After luring a baby monkey into the back of a car with food, traffickers simply close the door and drive away.  Once a monkey is inside a vehicle, it’s too late to save him.  The Angkor cameramen do their best to help keep the monkeys safe. They watch for illegal activity.  But, recording license plate numbers, and reporting incidents to the police, is not going to prevent roadway casualties. Angkor Archaeological Park needs help to prevent harm…and not just to monkeys.

Accidents harm more than just wildlife…

Motorists frequently hit monkeys running out into the road, at Angkor Archaeological Park (in particular abandoned pet monkeys, and the baby and juvenile monkeys of the troops). But, monkeys and other wildlife are not the only ones at risk. Speeding vehicles are dangerous enough, without the added risk of unpredictable wildlife crossing the road. Sprinting  animals can cause motorists to panic, resulting in human casualties as well.   However, injuries and deaths of monkeys and humans is easily preventable.

Signs can help…,

Statistical studies have proven that a few well placed signs can help reduce wildlife related accidents significantly.
Current signs near the temple are small, out of date, and only warn against feeding the monkeys.
Bigger, brighter signs are needed to warn motorists that they need to slow down in these areas, for their own safety.

The Angkor cameramen who watch the monkey troops, have been aware of the problem for quite some time. Besides just documenting the injuries and deaths of monkeys, they have been advocating solutions. Their goal has been to reduce roadway casualties at Angkor Archaeological Park, for years.

Although APSARA has denied requests in the past, we hope that the willingness of people to help, will make a difference.  We can all help prevent future tragedy.  By having a voice or donating to CWFPCO, towards new signs, we can make a difference.

By showing your support, you can help save lives, at Angkor Archaeological Park, in the future. 

Written by: Lorry Kaller

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