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WWF seizes illegal meat, wood

A RAID conducted by a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) enforcement team on Wednesday at the market in Sen Monorom, Mondulkiri’s provincial capital, led to the confiscation of six kilogrammes of wild boar meat poached from the Mondulkiri Protected Forest, according to a release issued by the group.

Wednesday’s raid follows two successful busts earlier this month, the release said, during which patrols working with rangers from the Forestry Administration confiscated seven chain saws and large quantities of rosewood, which can sell for thousands of dollars per cubic metre, from four villages in the protected forest.

Keo Sopheak, senior project officer for the WWF’s Eastern Plains Landscape Project, which includes the Mondulkiri Protected Forest, said that enforcement teams need to maintain a rapid pace of operations in order to stem the flow of poached material from the forest.

“The number of seizures and the amount of illegal wildlife and wood confiscated is quite high,” he said. “In the case of wild meat, the average is 5 to 8 kilogrammes per raid, and wood seizures vary depending on the vehicle used for transporting wood.”

According to the release, the team that discovered the boar meat was tipped off by a call from an informant. Keo Sopheak said that this kind of tip is a relatively rare boon for a unit that depends on contacts visited on wide-ranging patrols.

“Most of our informants are from remote villages around the protected areas. As of now, we are not getting reports from the public about wildlife crimes. We are working to encourage more public involvement in our enforcement work,” Keo Sopheak said.

“As far as our informant tips are concerned, most of the time they are correct.”

Anyone wishing to report a violation of Cambodia’s wildlife laws can call WWF’s Wildlife Crime Hotline on 012404143.

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