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Illegal wildlife dealer caught in rescue raid

A 34-year-old Vietnamese man was arrested and put into pre-trial detention on Monday in Ratanakkiri province for allegedly putting a veritable menagerie on the black market.

Prom Nol, Forestry Administration chief officer with Wildlife Alliance’s Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team, said yesterday that the raid on the man’s Banlung district home uncovered 87 hill myna birds, 30 rat snakes, six monitor lizards, four tortoises and a rare king cobra.

Because the cobra is a rare species, the man could be fined more than  20 million riel [over $5,000],” Nol said, adding that the suspect had been running illegal trades for more than a year. According to Wildlife Alliance, the rescued animals that were in good health were released in Mondulkiri, while those in poor health were transported to the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center in Takeo province.

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