Forestry Administration officers confiscated the hacked-up body of an illegally hunted sambar deer in Mondulkiri province on Sunday, though the poacher avoided arrest by escaping into the protected forest where the bust took place.
The seizure was made in Keo Seima district’s Sre Preah commune – part of a Protected Forest and Biodiversity Conservation Area – after a group of rangers came across a man riding a modified motorbike with an extended cargo rack typically used by illegal loggers.
The rangers chased the man until he abandoned the bike with a large sack aboard. Inside they found the partially butchered remains of an endangered sambar.
According to the director of the protected forest, Meak Vuthy, the deer appears to have been shot with a homemade rifle.
“The meat weighed 49 kilos, including the head. The offender had boned the sambar in the forest before moving it out. Its internal organs could not be found”, he said.
The bike and the meat were both seized as evidence, and Vuthy says an investigation is ongoing to try to track down the suspect.
According to Vuthy, the seizure follows another recent bust during which authorities captured three people with the bodies of two illegally hunted sambar in the same forest.
Vuthy said in that case, the suspects were charged with poaching and handed prison sentences.