Four Mondulkiri men were charged yesterday over the killing of an endangered banteng, a species of wild cattle, two days after two teenagers were fined after having killed a muntjac deer in Siem Reap province.
The Mondulkiri foursome, a father, two sons and a fellow villager, all ethnic Phnong, were apprehended on Saturday morning when park rangers found them transporting 145 kilograms of freshly slaughtered banteng meat on three motorbikes through a protected forest in Koh Nhek district’s Srey Huy commune, according to Mondulkiri Protected Forest director Long Bung.
Bung identified the suspects as father Thin Krak, 58; sons Krak Sokhang, 27, and Krak Lev, 19; and villager Nhorn Mao, 25.
According to Bung, the four deny poaching and claim they had put an injured banteng out of its misery and intended to share the meat with fellow villagers rather than sell it on for a profit.
The meat was incinerated with the approval of the provincial court while the animal’s head has been stored at the protected forest office, he said.
Meanwhile, two teens, 15 and 16, were arrested in Siem Reap province’s Angkor Protected Area having killed a red muntjac, according to heritage police deputy chief Man Chhoeun.
Chhoeun said two muntjac had ventured into Kouk Bong village from the parched forest in search of water. The teens beat one to death but the second was spared with the arrival of authorities.
The youths were released after paying a fine.