PILLAGE of Cambodia's wild life has gone high tech. Not content with snares and traps,
poachers in Koh Kong are now turning to pre-recorded mating calls and stereo systems
to entice wild life to the dinner table.
Moor hens, woodcocks and other game birds are being lured by the bewitching sounds
of love, relayed electronically into nets.
Local environmental NGO workers said that the poachers have been setting up nets
and equipment in a mangrove swamp next to the Peam Prasoup wildlife sanctuary.
They said the poachers place nets round a table that has a speaker and a light on
it and then wait for the game to be attracted by the sound and light.
Once they gather round the table, the poachers spring the net and capture the birds.
According to Van Pisith, Director of the Culture and Environment Preservation Association
(CEPA), the poachers can capture up to a 400 birds a day by the method.
The birds are then sold to restaurants in Thailand and Cambodia as game meat for
about 25 baht each.
Piseth said the birds are attracted to the sound of their mates and believe they
will enjoy dinner, drinking and a lie down but instead discover too late that it's
a trick by the "human vampires to arrest and murder them".
One wildlife officer said that the new trick is very effective and popular with diners
who are unhappy about eating animals that have been poisoned.
He said that the only way to stop the practice is for people to stop ordering the
dishes at restaurants.
And he said that the first people who need to cross the food off their menus are
the government officials and environmental officers who know the consequences of
hunting endangered species but are still prepared to tuck in come meal time.
He added that he knew exactly who was buying the meat because he saw their Mercedes
cars or Landcruisers on Route 4 stopping to buy the carcasses off poachers on the
side of the road.