Staff, volunteers, and visitors at Grand Opening!
Hello and Happy Spring from Fauna in Focus,
With your generous support, we have raised close to $7,000 for the construction and upkeep of The Nature Discovery Center of Cambodia, which opened in January 2019.
Here are a few updates on the projects and events that your donations have helped support:
Final Stages of Building
Our volunteers and staff were hard at work all of December and January, making sure each of our exhibits was complete prior to our grand opening event. The Tree of Life was wrapped in its final layers of paper mache before many coats of paint and lots of leaves and vines. The tree sprouted branches that continued upstairs in our Jungle Lab Classroom & Wildlife Cinema, providing our guests with an immersive wildlife environment, even inside the building. Each of our Cambodian bird species took flight in the Birds of Cambodia display, where you can see almost twenty important critters including the Sarus Crane and Changeable Hawk Eagle. Graphic design for each of our stations and displays was completed, adding crucial educational and interactive elements for guests to enjoy. We also finished our orchid garden and Nature Walk, complete with a composting station.
Our Grand Opening event was a smash hit, and we received over 100 Khmer and international visitors who had an awesome time exploring the center, getting their faces painted, playing games and activities about conservation, and meeting the Venerable Bun Saluth, a conservation monk. It was truly inspiring to see the completion of our hard work being enjoyed by guests of all ages.
Open to the Public!
The Nature Discovery Center is now open Monday through Friday from 9-5 in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Entrance is free for Khmer visitors and school groups, while international visitors pay a small fee that allows us to keep the doors open. We have had many visits from local tour guides and businesses in hopes they will recommend the Nature Discovery Center to their guests. We have also welcomed multiple school groups, providing large amounts of students with exciting, hands-on learning opportunities about Cambodian wildlife and the critical need for conservation.
World Wildlife Day
On March third, we held Cambodia’s second annual World Wildlife Day at the Nature Discovery Center by hosting a free event to celebrate. As this year’s theme was “Life Under Water: For People and Planet”, we focused on plastic pollution and marine and riverine conservation by building a GIANT Southern River Terrapin out of thousands of plastic bottles. Students from local schools helped us paint the bottles prior to the event, and worked hard arranging the bottles into a 20 meter long terrapin in the field near our center. We captured drone footage of the event, and will be releasing a short video clip of the art project on our social media pages this upcoming week. Visitors had the opportunity to explore the center, play games, watch our nature documentaries and talk to other community members about sustainability and the importance of being plastic free.
We look forward to expanding and improving wildlife education in Cambodia, and we could not do it without you. Our crowdfunding campaign is still live, and we are only $3,242 away from our $10,000 goal. We hope you will consider continued support of our work now that the Nature Discovery Center is open. Thank you!
See ya soon, baboon! After awhile, crocodile!
Dan & the Fauna in Focus Team
A Giant Hornbill flies by the Tree of Life
The Venerable Bun Saluth visits the center
Students relax in the orchid garden
A young visitor digs for dinosaur bones
Students paint bottles for the plastic project
Students arranging plastic bottles
Plastic bottle Southern River Terrapin