via Phnom Penh Post, 14 November 2019: It says the ban was put in the first place because some people had released crocodiles into the moat! A classic example of “this is why we can’t have nice things”?
The Khmer Angkor Tour Guide Association (Katga) called on the Apsara National Authority to reconsider its decision banning all animals from being released into the moat surrounding the Angkor Wat temple after the authority prohibited the action for the sake of visitors’ safety.
Apsara National Authority spokesman Long Kosal on Wednesday reiterated that a number of faithful visited the temple each year since it was originally built to symbolically represent Mount Meru – the home of the Hindu gods.
Kosal said that a number of nearby residents would secretly release species of animals such as fish, crocodiles and tortoises into the moat, which endanger the lives of millions of tourists who visit the temple each year.
Ministry of Tourism undersecretary of state Top Sopheak told The Post: “We learned that a number of crocodiles and other animals had been released into the moat and to prevent these instances in the future, the Apsara National Authority asked citizens not to release any species of animals there to help preserve its cultural heritage.