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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Threatened species of deer discovered in trap

Environmental rangers inspect the carcass of a dead male sambar deer on Friday in Pailin’s Samlot protected area.
Environmental rangers inspect the carcass of a dead male sambar deer on Friday in Pailin’s Samlot protected area. Photo supplied

Threatened species of deer discovered in trap

Environmental rangers patrolling in Pailin province’s Samlot protected area yesterday recovered the remains of a male sambar deer, which died after being caught in a snare likely set up by local villagers, a NGO worker said.

Kong Mony Chan, director of the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation, which works with the Environment Ministry to protect the area, said the 150-kilogram animal, which is listed as a threatened species, was found in dense forest in O’Tavao commune, and had likely died a week ago after getting its front leg caught in the trap.

“Local villagers laid a snare, which trapped and killed it,” Mony Chan said.

“The hunter cut off its head a few days ago. Perhaps he could not take the meat so he only took the head and horns instead.”

Mony Chan said the foundation had attempted to educate villagers in nearby locales that laying cable snares in protected areas was against the law, though poaching cases have persisted.

Nevertheless, Mony Chan said he believed sambar deer, which were listed as a threatened species on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s “red list” in 2008, were increasing in number in forested areas along the Cambodia-Thailand border.

He added, however, that there was no clear data to back up the anecdotal claims.

According to the IUCN website, populations of Sambar, which are native to many parts of Asia, are in “rapid decline”, and the species is listed as “vulnerable”.

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