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Illegal snares wreaking havoc on populations in wildlife sanctuaries

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A Banteng was found dead with a snare wrapped around one of its legs in Preah Vihear province on February 19, according to the ministry’s forest rangers. Environment Ministry

Illegal snares wreaking havoc on populations in wildlife sanctuaries

The Ministry of Environment warns that the hunting of wild animals using snares continues to be a serious problem after a Banteng was found dead with a snare wrapped around one of its legs in Preah Vihear province on February 19, according to the ministry’s forest rangers.

Director of Prey Preah Roka Wildlife Sanctuary Bun Soeung said that a group of rangers spotted the Banteng’s carcass – which weighed nearly one tonne – in Sen Rong Roeung III village of Morakot commune in Preah Vihear’s Choam Ksan district.

He said that the banteng was found dead by rangers assigned to the Preah Roka Wildlife Sanctuary on February 19 while they were patrolling the forest and trying to deter poachers from hunting and trapping wild animals.

“The rangers have concluded that the banteng had been dead for perhaps only a day before they spotted it because there wasn’t any stench or visible decay yet. Its right leg was trapped with a snare made from a bicycle brake wire,” he said.

Soeung added the banteng’s carcass was buried by the rangers near the O’kak environmental headquarters. He also said that in just the first two months of this year the rangers had already found and removed 400 such traps in that area.

Environment ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra wrote a Facebook post concerning the death of the banteng, expressing regret for the loss of the animal whose species is one of the rarest left in the world.

“I become very emotional when I see that Cambodia’s endangered species are still being senselessly hunted and trapped,” he said.

Pheaktra called on all Cambodians to immediately stop consuming all wild animals in order to preserve Cambodia’s natural heritage and to stop breaking the laws of Cambodia by committing the offences of hunting and trapping them.

He noted that people who commit natural resource crimes such as deforestation of wildlife sanctuaries and the hunting, trapping and poisoning of wild animals – or even just the unlawful sale or consumption of wild animal meats – could face a prison term of one to five years in length and a fine of 15 million riel to 150 million riel, under Articles 56 and 61 of the Law on Natural Protected Areas.

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