L.E.A.F activity & conservation projects:

 

1.COMMUNITY FOREST PROTECTION & REFORESTATION


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One of our goals is to protect the area's beautiful community forests & wildlife from logging and harmful development. As well as benefit & improve the lives of poor indigenous Bunong communities and preserve Mondulkiri’s unique environment, culture & heritage.

By developing an ethical ecotourism program, our project creates sustainable livelihoods & income for Bunong families - this income reduces the to financial dependency on illegal logging & hunting. It also creates additional jobs, incentive and opportunities for local youth to learn English, get involved in conservation & develop positively.

 

Our eco-tourism center is located within a natural wildlife corridor, our center visitor contributions sponsor the reforestation of the surrounding area as well as the care & protection for  wildlife.
The area around the center is made up of beautiful rainforest, wildreness and indigenous farms. The valley is home to a wide variety of local wildlife. In the wet season, the valley forms a natural wildlife corridor & links two protected community forest areas which allows animals to migrate. 
Due to the area’s mixed classification of community forest & farmlands - The remaining forests are extra vulnerable to private sector deforestation & other forms of human activities like illegal logging, hunting and land grabbing.

Our ecotourism programs directly sponsors the long term protection of the area’s forests and wild animals.
We aim to establish a large area where animals can roam & breed protected and unharmed. A part of our center’s income goes towards educating our neighboring communities & farmers on how to benefit & co-exist with wildlife.

Existing development and progress:

The L.E.A.F Mondulkiri forest sanctuary covers over 100 hectares and provides a secure migration and breeding zone for wildlife. A major part of our project contributions, goes towards getting our neighboring indigenous communities involved in conservation. The communities receive regular income from our ecotourism programs - In exchange for helping us increase the protection of community forests and reporting illegal activity & forest crimes.
The Ecotourism income goes toward improving child nutrition & education. Additionally. Our volunteers teach English & conservation education to youth at local schools. We have begun a reforestation program throughout the sanctuary. We have plans to establish a community farm, where we can demonstrate forest permaculture and other sustainable farming techniques.

Future plans for this project:

We’re currently sourcing reforestation grants in order to expand the community wildlife & ecotourism zone, we plan to reclaim & reforest the surrounding hills for the benefit of local wildlife as well as poor communities.
This will positively effect the entire province, as Mondulkiri has a potential of becoming Cambodia’s main wildlife & ecotourism destination.
We will continue working towards creating sustainable livelihoods for additional families currently dependent on forest clearing, logging and hunting. We seek to increase cooperation & support for farmers & land owners that expressed interest in wildlife protection, sustainable reforestation & permaculture.

Support us by booking your visit to the Mondulkiri Sanctuary Bunong families who benefit from our conservation programs.
Support us by booking your visit to the Mondulkiri Sanctuary Rain forests protected by the sanctuary ecotourism program.
Support us by booking your visit to the Mondulkiri Sanctuary Introducing environmental education to local children at minority schools.



 

2. ELEPHANT SANCTUARY & REHABILITAION PROGRAM



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Our ethical elephant ecotourism program currently sponsors the release & care in freedom of 6 Cambodian working elephants, which we negotiated to free from working in illegal logging & commercial tourist rides.

The sanctuary provides a safe & peaceful home, for elephants to enjoy a new life of rest & freedom. Elephants feed throughout the day, socialize and roam the sanctuary forest & grasslands with other elephants, safe from physical pressure and risks they faced while ‘employed’ in logging or tourist ride industry.



Our ecotourism program contributions help cover the feeding costs & veterinary care costs as well as provide supportive income for the indigenous families who owned the elephants & agreed to release them from work to retire at the sanctuary.

The Elephants are kept as close as possible to life in natural environment: As ex-working elephants, it is the first time they are allowed to roam free & unchained, enjoying unlimited grazing time, dusting, herd socializing and elephant play time. The sanctuary’s elephant habitat includes everything that wild elephants love: Bamboo & rainforest, grasslands, several natural pools and mud bathing areas. We also have a special plantation, where we grow elephant feed for the dry season.

We have no fences. The elephants can roam throughout the entire sanctuary area. Each elephant has an individual carer that provides the daily grooming & makes sure they stay within the safe zone.

Some of the elephants receive treatment for chronic conditions and injuries caused by years of hard work in the logging & tourism industry.

MEET THE ELEPHANTS


Background:

Our elephants come from the nearby Bunong communities of Putru, Oraing and Patang. They are co-owned by many of the village families. The villagers used to work the elephants in order to generate income. They were used in logging, pulling timber out of the jungles, carrying rice and resin from remote forest farms and giving tourist rides. The work is often hard and dangerous, both for the elephants and their human mahouts. Several elephants and mahouts were killed and injured in working accidents.
          
As tourism developed, Mondulkiri’s elephants began giving tourist rides and many were sold to private companies and transferred to work in Siam Reap. By 2016, only a fraction of Mondulkiri’s community elephants have survived.

Support us by booking your visit to the Mondulkiri Sanctuary The sanctuary’s retired elephant herd receive daily care, grooming & veterinary check-ups.

By joining the L.E.A.F community project, keepers and families receive regular income from the project that allows them to support and educate their families – They no longer have to risk themselves working the animals in logging or giving rides.
The elephants gain an amazing new life, chains free for the first time: they are allowed to eat constantly, roam and socialize, simply enjoying elephant life at the safe & natural sanctuary elephant habitat.
 The sanctuary elephants receive gentle daily care, grooming & veterinary check-ups.

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CHELLOT



Chellot Comes from the Bunong community of Putru. Shes is 48 years old and had been a working elephant since her capture from the wild in forest of O’riang.
She is has lovely, super cute round features. As well as a super gentle & affectionate character, both with other elephants as well as with humans.  Following many years of hard work, she had developed a permanent limp. Her families love her and wanted to give her a better life at the sanctuary since October 2014.

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CHEPRIL



Comes from the Bunong community of Putru, lives at the sanctuary since November 10th, 2014. Shes is estimated to be at least 56 years old and her age shows. She had been a working elephant throughout her life. She joined the sanctuary after suffering from a hip inflammation that made walking painful difficult. She will never be able to work. Her chronic pain, turned her secluded and reserved. Following 2 years of rest and vigorous feeding, she’s feeling much happier, she gained 260 kg and walks at ease again. She receives wild turmeric, with is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory.

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MEAKOM



Our new herd addition, a beautiful & gentle 37 year old little lady from the Bunong community of O’raing. Initially arrived at the sanctuary with a serious leg abscess caused by a sneak bite and was dangerously underweight. We persuaded her owner to let her retire & join the sanctuary herd. Following her initial treatment - She is slowly healing, gaining weight & well adjusting to freedom.

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PON & STUED



Stud & Pon are 2 working elephants from Oraing village who were receiving treatment & rest at the sanctuary on a part time plan and we're so happy as now finally joined our herd full time !
Seeing 6 elephants roaming freely throughout the sanctuary forests & hills is literally big time fun!
Bamboo, bananas and young grass shoots are their all times favorite foods.

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MILLET



Millet is working elephants from Putang village who receives treatment & rest at the sanctuary on a part time plan.  We hoping tto be able to take her on permanently in the near future.

How you can help Mondulkiri’s elephants:

Our rescue team had been negotiating and assisting additional families of working elephants in Mondulkiri. 
We’re completely dependent on visitors for funding - Please help us by coming to visit the sanctuary & helping to spread the word of the of our ethical elephant ecotourism program in Mondulkiri.

We are currently fundraising in order to build a wildlife treatment clinic that will serve Mondulkiri’s elephant population, donations, big or small are most helpful.


Creating a future for Bunong elephant keeping tradition in Mondulkiri:

Asian Elephant are becoming critically endangered. We want to work with the local communities in order to free as many remaining working elephants as possible, to give them a better life as well as secure the future for the species within our established sanctuary.

Elephants are extremely intelligent, sociable animals. They are very attached to their human families. Being ‘sold’ or changing hands often causes separation anxiety, depression and anorexia.
Unlike other sanctuaries, we do not separate the elephants from their own family & familiar mahouts nor we give them English names like “princess” or “lucky”. Our elephants have names & feel proud to keep their original Bunong names.

Our goal is to keep the Bunong families that joint our project – fully involved & maintain the family bond, let them keep caring for their own elephants without having to work their elephants.
In order to create a future – The family, especially the children, need to overcome old taboos while keeping the old wisdom & learn some new, humane methods of elephant care & training, progressing into a new, more natural & positive elephant tourism.

The elephant’s human families are so far thrilled to see the elephant’s improved health & condition. The young family mahouts receive additional training in basic veterinary care and an opportunity to learn English.

In traditional Bunong culture, domestic elephan breeding is considered a taboo with supportive professional training. We are working to find a way for them to overcome this restriction - In order to allow a new generation elephants in Mondulkiri.

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Bunong woman with her family elephant.





3.WILDLIFE EMERGENCY, RESCUE & REINTRODUCTION:


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As Mondulkiri’s agricultural areas and population are constantly growing, natural wildlife habitats across the province are quickly shrinking and as a consequence wild animals are losing their territories and become increasingly prone to being caught by hunters, traders & traffickers.

Trafficked & illegally captive animals include several primates & monkey species, gibbons, slow & pygmy loris, civets, otters, porcupines, leopard cats and a variety of other mammals. Bird & reptile species such as owls, wild peacocks, hornbills, turtles, pythons, monitor lizards & many more. Occasionally highly endangered species, like pangolins, leopards and bears.

Live wild animals found are often young cubs found by a dead parent - caught in a snare / trap. Or wild animals kept as pets / confiscated by police / rangers during local wildlife raids.

Once rescued, most animals are in need of medical help & recovery due to shock, stress dehydration & malnutrition. Live animals often stuffed into airtight bags or small containers and transferred in severe heat conditions.
Endangered species are usually sent for treatment at Phnom Tamao wildlife center, unfortunately not always surviving the 7 hour transfer journey. More common species are released immediately without treatment or observation.

Current project development :

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We are currently developing & building a wildlife treatment / reintroduction facility at the Mondulkiri Elephant & Wildlife Sanctuary. Once completed – the facility will serve & help to save captured live animals, injured during trafficking or rescued from illegal captivity. The facility is designed to suit the needs of a wide variety of species, with a post recovery slow release / reintroduction step program, planned by our zoology volunteers: 

We have raised over $ 3000 to build our first treatment enclosure, within the sanctuary forest.
We recently received another donation of $ 3000, sponsoring the construction of a second treatment enclosure.

 

Recent wildlife rescues:

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Young baby macaque ( on the left ), who was orphaned at a very young age, cared for & bottle fed by the wildlife sanctuary team until she was able to eat solids and join her friends.
We regularly cooperate with the local pagoda monks, to help release illigaly kept macaques from living in chains or small cages. We give them a second chance at freedom in their natural habitat, with supplementary feeding as necessary.

There are wild macaque troops in the sanctuary forest, who feed & socialize with the captive macaques in our rehab program. The goal is for captive macaques to eventually get accepted & adopted into the wild troops.

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Slow Pygmy Loris, confiscated alive, treated & released by the LEAF team in 2015. Once common, Loris numbers are in sharp decline due to their common use in traditional Chinese medicine.

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Young leopard cat, found lingering by her mother, who was killed caught in a hunting snare. The cub was kept as a pet until it started killing village ducks & chickens.
The kitten is currently roaming free following reintroduction, it was observed hunting & fishing at the sanctuary forests.

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Young otters discovered & saved from local wild meat traders. Enhancing education and raising local awareness is vital in order to insure success in conservation. Hunting will never stop until local trade and consumption stops too. The otter cubs were releases at the sanctuary forest and they are occasionally still spotted by the Otai river.

Future plans for this project:

We are presently fundraising in order to raise the money needed for building a basic wildlife clinic.
The clinic will allow our veterinary volunteers to perform more complex procedures & surgery, serving the recovery, introduction & release of wildlife caught in trafficking and illegal captivity throughout northern Cambodia.

We welcome any donation, big or small towards completing the clinic construction. Please donate via our donations page.
If you’re from another organization and wish to cooperate and help us with funding this project, please contact us.

 

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ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION & RENEWABLE ENERGY RESEARCH


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The L.E.A.F team and our current volunteers operates a school visit program. We aim to reach Mondulkiri’s local children & youth and provide them with education on conservation and environmental sustainability.

We introduce rural students to various discussions: climate change, the importance or sustainable forest & wildlife management, wildlife protection and other active conservation issues.

Once our wildlife rehabilitation center construction is complete. We plan to regularly invite local students to the sanctuary on educational nature field trips, where students can learn from a close experience of caring for injured local wildlife and environmental appreciation.

 

RENEWABLE ENERGY RESEARCH


Our renewable energy research team, designs, builds & tests small, efficient hydro electric generators and water flow powered pumps. All designs are environmentally friendly, operate on renewable energy requiring no fuel. With Zero Carbon Emissions.
Supporting local communities through this project:  
We have successfully installed 6 of these RAM pumps of different pumping capacities, functioning at different locations, to benefit communities & providing water to village houses and farms, with no fuel or energy cost, leaving a Zero Carbon foot print.

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The L.E.A.F. Water Wheel system – has a dual function either as a Hydro power generator, or as a jet propelled water pump.
It has the ability to generate up to 3kW of clean energy, depending on the flow valium. It’s a simple & efficient Micro – Hydro Power Generator.
This electricity is produced by river water being funneled down a long shoot, which builds up a lot of head pressure and then pours down over a propeller that is connected to an electric Dynamo. The pressurized flowing water forces the propeller to spin around at high speed, which then spins the dynamo that then creates electricity.
The power flow is constant and there is no need for power storage devices (batteries), which can cause pollution.

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L.E.A.F. Water RAM Pump, has the ability to continuously pump water up hundreds of meters of elevation without having to use polluting and noisy fuels and oils. It is 100% clean green pumping power.

Mondulkiri Sanctuary’s water RAM pump has the capacity to pump up to 30,000 liters over a 24hour period. It pumps water up to a holding tank, which is elevated about 100m higher than the pump.

 



HOW YOU CAN HELP US SAVE MONDULKIRI'S FORESTS & WILDLIFE:

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On behalf of L.E.A.F Cambodia’s team, we would like to thank all our project visitors & volunteers: Thanks to your support- We have begun the construction of Mondulkiri’s first wildlife emergency treatment center. Our first enclosure is almost complete and we’re currently fundraising in order to build a simple clinic and additional enclosures. We greatly appreciate all your kind help and support.