The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex, about 30 km southeast of the city of Siem Reap, with an initial total investment of more than US$70 million, is reportedly still on track for a late October opening.
The park is located on a 100 ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon Village, Khchas Township, Sotr Nikum District, Siem Reap Province, about 7 km northwest of Damdek Village, where the road intersects with National Road 64.
Mak Bros, district governor of Sotr Nikum, told the Post on September 19 that the Japanese-US-invested Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium was created as a “world-class entertainment venue” for “visitors from everywhere,” creating jobs for locals and contributing to Economy contributes to growth in the district and nationwide.
The park, to be developed in three phases, will be home to “rare” fish and other animals and will boost Siem Reap province’s reputation as home to a rich and diverse array of travel hotspots, he said.
“Because of this project, I expect that more national and international tourists will visit Sotr Nikum district – a place where one can see a rich assemblage of fauna,” added Bros.
Bros said he met with Meng Hieng, who he mentioned is a co-owner of the project, and that Hieng revealed that at least one residential area, artificial streams and other nature-related attractions are in the pipeline for Phase II, with a “luxury hotel ‘ planned for Phase III.
Hieng also urged area residents to grow more fruits and vegetables to supply the complex, to be used for refreshments for guests, according to Bros.
After visiting the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium, Tieng Eng, the wife of Siem Reap provincial governor Tea Seiha, wrote on social media on September 17 that the Mekong giant catfish complex (Pangasianodon gigas) weighing over 100 kg and other “large, uniquely shaped” freshwater fish of the longest river in Southeast Asia.
Commenting on the magnificence of the aquarium, she said: “Don’t be disoriented and think you are abroad, ladies and gentlemen, this is a world-class aquarium park. It is slated to open in Siem Reap in late October 2022 – attracting more tourists – to accompany the Angkor temples.”
Hieng, who is also the managing director of Angkor Wildlife & Aquarium Co Ltd, a company linked to the complex, could not be reached for comment on September 19.
However, he said in June that the park would include enclosures for large wildlife species such as tigers, elephants, small bears, as well as marine and freshwater creatures and fish from the Amazon.
“They consist of eight Asian elephants [Elephas maximus]eight Sumatran tigers [Panthera tigris sondaica]five sun bears [Helarctos malayanus]10 Asian small-clawed otters [Aonyx cinereus]10 Java mongooses [Urva javanica]10 Malayan Porcupines [Hystrix brachyura]five reticulated pythons [Malayopython reticulatus] and five oriental whip snakes [Ahaetulla prasina]’ said Hieng then.
He revealed that the complex would also have a laboratory.
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Veng Sakhon previously commented that the project is “very important” and seen as a priority project for Siem Reap, one of the kingdom’s three economic hubs traditionally driven by the tourism sector.
The zoo is not just for sightseeing but will also be a sanctuary for rare or endangered Cambodian wildlife species, he said, adding that the park would also educate the younger generation and increase their knowledge about wildlife.
Angkor Wildlife & Aquarium Co Ltd was incorporated on November 6th, 2018 according to the Commercial Register of the Ministry of Commerce.
The register lists Hieng as Chairman of the company with a registered mailing address in Phnom Penh, and “Nathan Roger Reynolds”, “Roger Rensch Reynolds III”, “Lau Sok Huy” and “Takuya Higuchi” as directors with addresses in Hong Kong, the US, Phnom Penh and Tokyo.