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Laos Gifts Elephants to Cambodia in a Gesture of Unity

Takeo: In a ceremonial gesture symbolizing solidarity, the Government of the Lao People's Democratic Republic has bestowed a pair of elephants to the Kingdom of Cambodia. The handover ceremony took place at the Phnom Tamao Botanical Garden on the morning of May 12, 2024, attended by prominent officials including the Cambodian Minister of Agriculture, Dith Tina, and Lao minister of agriculture and forestry, Linkham DOUANGSAVNH.

Minister Dith Tina expressed profound honor and excitement during the ceremony, highlighting the significance of the gift, which was presented by Laos to His Majesty the King of Cambodia. He noted the symbolic value of the elephants, referencing their historical depiction in the carvings of ancient temples like Angkor Wat and Bayon, and their traditional use in transport and warfare by Khmer ancestors.

The ceremony underscored the enduring friendship and cooperative spirit between the two nations, with the presence of high-level delegates emphasizing strong bilateral relations.

Minister Dith Tina also addressed the current threats faced by elephants, emphasizing ongoing conservation efforts, including the development of ivory programs and strategies in partnership with international conservation bodies.

In his concluding remarks, Minister Dith Tina expressed gratitude towards the Lao Government and its people for the donation, marking a significant milestone in wildlife conservation and bilateral cooperation, particularly in the field of agriculture.

The donated elephants, a male named "Champa" and a female named "Romduol," hail from Thongmixay district, Xaignabouli province, Laos. Suitable accommodations have been arranged for them at the botanical garden, including a spacious cage and a naturalistic habitat designed to mirror the conditions of Asian elephant forests.

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