The Mekong Turtle Conservation Center (MTCC) is located at the beautiful and historic pagoda. The MTCC was opened by Conservation International to increase the wild population of the endangered. It is an establishment for the conservation of the endangered Cantor’s Giant Softshell Turtle and is one of the popular tourist attractions among the travelers in Kratie, where people can take up Turtle conservation tours to see the hatchlings grow.

Cantor’s giant softshell turtle, known as the “frog-faced turtle,” is found in a wide-ranging area, from Bangladesh in the west to the Philippines in the east, but only in a 30-mile strip of the Mekong River in northern Cambodia. The turtles were once plentiful here, but decades of people harvesting their eggs for food caused the population to plummet so much that the species was thought to have disappeared completely. It was only in 2007 that it was re-discovered in Cambodia.

After Cantor’s giant softshell turtle was re-discovered in 2007, the Cambodian Department of Fisheries partnered with nonprofit Conservation International and the World Wildlife Fund to start a community-led nest protection program. And a few years later, Conservation International established the Mekong Turtle Conservation Center in Sambor, on the temple grounds of Wat Sorsor Moi Roi. It has served as a head-start facility for the turtles, with hatchlings gathered from natural nests along the river and kept indoors for 10 months before being released back into the wild.

As a tourist attraction, it also draws a modest stream of visitors wanting to learn more about Cambodia’s 15 native turtle species, most of which are endangered.

According to and