Recent survey work by Fauna & Flora International’s Cambodian Elephant Conservation Group has discovered a remote wildlife Eden in the Cardamom Mountains. An extensive salt lick, where large mammals congregate to drink mineral-rich water, was found deep in the mountainous forests. Camera traps placed there over the past few months have revealed a treasure trove of rare and endangered species including elephants, serow (a kind of goat-like antelope) and a huge species of forest cattle known as gaur. In the surrounding forests marbled cat, wild dog and the rarely seen spotted linsang have also made an appearance on the camera traps.
The location of the salt lick is being kept secret to safeguard it from undue disturbance. But for a glimpse of this hidden world, take a look at the following video. This was shot in infrared so as not to alarm the animals as they drink, and shows a small herd of gaur, including sub adults and a young calf.
Cambodian biologist Neang Thy, who heads the Cambodian Elephant Conservation Group said, “Many lowland areas in southern Cambodia are threatened, and their wildlife endangered. It is gratifying to see that deep in the forested mountains there are still intact populations of large mammals.”
Jeremy is a photographer and field biologist who has worked in association with Fauna & Flora International since 1995. He specialises in camera trapping rare and cryptic animals in the rainforests of Southeast Asia.