Approximately 70 percent of Cambodia is covered with forest containing an abundant and diverse population of indigenous wildlife totaling more than 2,200 unique species. Unfortunately, there are also many animals that are on the endangered species list. Some of the more familiar mammals of Cambodia are the Agile gibbon
, Asian black bear, Asian elephant, and the Asian Golden Cat.
The Agile gibbon lives in the rain forests and spends most of its life in the tree canopy, rarely setting foot on the ground. It is classified by the International Union of Natural Conservation (IUNC) as an endangered species.
The Asian black bear is easily identified by the V-shaped patch of white fur on its chest. Similar to the gibbon, it also spends a great deal of its time in the trees. Prior to hibernation, it will make its den in a cave, a hollow log, or on a mountainside. Asian black bears are classified by the IUNC as a vulnerable species.
Asian elephants are migratory animals and can be found foraging the land from grasslands to tropical evergreen and deciduous forests. They have been domesticated and have served humans for thousands of years. Sadly, their population has been on the decline and they are considered an endangered species.
The Asian Golden Cat, prized for its magnificent fur coat and mythical protective powers, is also on the IUNC watch list. Because it is difficult to track and record this species, it is unknown exactly how many of them there are in the wild. This wild cat
can climb trees and hunt birds similar to his smaller relatives, the domestic cat, but is also know to attack prey much larger than itself, such as water buffalo
For those who wish to see some of Cambodia's wildlife in person, there are several sanctuaries, reserves and day tours available.