Two rare gaurs, a mother and a female calf, died on Monday in Pailin province’s Samlot protected area after being caught in snares. Military and environmental unit rangers, plus officers from the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation, found the endangered wild cattle trapped near each other while on patrol on Monday morning.
The calf had already died, but the mother was still alive, said Thorn Kimhong, director of the Samlot protected area. “[It] might have been trapped [for up to] four days without food and water.”
Chan Socheat, operational manager for the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation, said rangers, afraid of being gored, contacted Wildlife Alliance to save the animal, but it died before they arrived. “We don’t have any equipment to rescue it, but experts could give it sedatives,” Socheat said.
The year-old calf managed to free itself from one snare only to be caught by another, Kimhong said, adding that rangers were searching for more snares as some villagers still poach animals secretly.
More than 4,000 families live in the protected area, which covers 60,000 hectares, along with about 100 gaurs. It is patrolled by only 30 rangers.
This incident brought to three the number of gaur killed in the area this year by poachers, Kimhong said.