Two Vietnamese women have been charged with illegally storing 102 kilograms of reptiles with the intent of transporting them from Kandal’s Loeuk Dek district to Vietnam.
Forestry officials along with Wildlife Rapid Rescue Teams raided the two women’s rental house last Tuesday, seizing a variety of reptile species including but not limited to seven monocled cobras, two Burmese pythons, one snail-eating turtle, one checkered keelback snake and white-spotted slug snakes.
Prek Tonloap commune chief Ngi Sary yesterday expressed surprise over the suspects’ illegal activities. “We just saw them buy fish. We did not know they bought wildlife until after their arrest,” Ngi told the Post.
The cobras were transported to Phnom Tamao Zoological Park and Wildlife Rescue Center in Takeo’s Bati district to ensure their mouths had not been stitched, a tactic commonly used by traders for self-protection and to weaken the snakes.
All other confiscated wildlife was released into protected habitat on Wednesday.