We plan to build a pre-release enclosure for ungulates at our Wildlife Rehabilitation Station in order to ease their transition into the wild and to get two camera traps to monitor the hoofed animals after they have been released.
The Release process
The Mekong region in Cambodia has the greatest diversity of ungulates - hoofed animals - on earth! They may not have the magnificence of elephants or majesty of leopards, but they are essential to the health of forests and vital for the survival of all animals, as well as being a prey base for native predators. Many of these species have historically been declining due to hunting and habitat loss, but thanks to the efforts of Wildlife Alliance, their numbers are slowly recovering.
We have successfully bred serow, muntjac and sambar deer for release at our Wildlife Release Station deep within the Cardamom Mountains in Koh Kong, to help bolster native populations and ensure genetic diversity.
Captive bred animals are placed in a large forested pre-release enclosure. This provides a safe environment for the animals to acclimate to their new home and exposes them to the elements of the forest, while allowing us to monitor their health and rehabilitation progress. This transitional step is key to ensuring a successful release for captive born animals. Once deemed ready, we perform a soft-release, whereby the door of the enclosure is simply left open and they are free to leave when they feel comfortable. We continue to provide food for as long as necessary and monitor their progress with non-intrusive camera traps. Not only do the cameras monitor our released animals, but also collect valuable data on other species inhabiting the forest, such as mouse deer, binturongs, leopard cats and clouded leopards!
$6,000 will help build an ungulate pre-release enclosure and two camera traps.