The Prambei Mom Forest Community in Kampong Speu province’s Thpong district has raised concern over a spike in illegal hunting within the forest.
Community forest chief Soeun Lay said on Thursday that he and his community members patrolled the forest from January 25-27 to combat forest and animal offences.
“When we patrolled the forest, our team spotted a male banteng, about one year old and weighing over 100kg. It had died after its right leg was caught in a snare. The carcass had a really bad smell, it probably died a few days ago,” he said.
Lay said after discovering the banteng, the team stayed within the forest for two days to look for the poacher but had no luck tracking down the offender.
They then decided to cremate the banteng and continued to search for other crimes, leading to the discovery of 237 snares set up by illegal hunters.
Lay said the recent discoveries followed patrols in December when his team spotted two Red muntjacs, a wild chicken, and a critically endangered pangolin dead after being caught in snares.
In March, his team also rescued two male and a female banteng from snares.
“Snares could kill animals and human beings at any time if we are careless. The ongoing use of snares to hunt animals is destroying and seriously threatening wildlife. It also threatens endangered animals with extinction,” he said.
In a separate case, Veun Sai district military police in Ratanakkiri province cooperated with Virachey National Park authorities to seize 28kg of wild boar meat last week.
Deputy chief of Virachey National Park Sou Khon said the seller managed to evade arrest.
“Such crimes are still ongoing and will continue if people do not stop eating wild meat,” Khon said.