Mondulkiri provincial Department of Environment director Keo Sopheak told The Post on Sunday that authorities are continuing to gather evidence to arrest the offenders who shot and killed a gaur and two banteng, which are rare and endangered species.
Two female banteng were found dead on Thursday in an economic land concession (ELC) at the Lim Royal Company located in Pou Chrei commune, Pech Chreada district.
The skeleton of a gaur was found by forest rangers in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary in a protected area in Sre Preah commune, Keo Seima district.
“Two banteng were shot and authorities found an AK-47 shell casing 50m from the dead animals. The gaur was also shot with a rifle and was found in a rice field,” said Sopheak.
He said the banteng carcasses and the gaur skeleton were buried.
“We have evidence to identify two or three suspects but we are still investigating to find more evidence,” he said.
The shooting of wild animals illegally has happened twice in Mondulkiri in the past two weeks.
On May 8, the Forestry Administration, working in collaboration with the forestry department’s wildlife rapid rescue team, the Fisheries Administration, the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and other officials from the Koh Kong Forestry Administration fined two restaurant owners.
Sabay Restaurant and Samros Smanhngam Restaurant were both are accused of illegally serving food made from wild animals, Em Sotheara, the deputy director of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in Koh Kong, said on Sunday.
Sotheara said authorities retrieved 296 dead water cocks, 7kg of wild boar meat, 5kg of Bengal monitor, 25 local birds, six dead green pigeons and 10 live turtles equal to 4kg and 200kg of turtle shells from the two restaurants.
Their owners were fined 9 million riel ($2,200) each.