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Pangolins, gaur rescued

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Phnom Tamao zoo officials treat a newly rescued gaur in Takeo province last week. Photo supplied

Pangolins, gaur rescued

Environmental patrols rescued four critically endangered pangolins from traders in Koh Kong on Thursday, while in a separate case, a juvenile gaur was rescued and treated after being seriously injured by a snare trap in Battambang last week.

Joint forces consisting of environment officials, military police and soldiers rescued the pangolins in two separates busts as part of a wildlife crime crackdown in Thma Bang district in Koh Kong province. No arrest of a suspect has been reported so far, according to a statement.

Mon Phalla, director of the provincial department of environment, declined to comment yesterday.

In a separate case, a 1-year-old gaur received treatment after being rescued from a snare in Battambang province and brought to Phnom Tamao Zoo and Wildlife Rescue Centre in Takeo earlier this month, according to director of the centre Nhek Rattanak Pich. After a week, its wound had become infected and developed into a life-threatening condition.

On Thursday the wound was opened and drained, said Rattanak Pich, who added that veterinarians will continue to monitor the animal’s condition.

The gaur is considered “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and is threatened by hunting and trafficking in Cambodia.

Nick Marx, director of wildlife rescue and care for NGO Wildlife Alliance, said hunters laid hundreds of snare traps at a time.

“Snaring will catch anything that walks into the snare, whether it’s endangered or not endangered,” he said. “It’s extremely damaging and extremely cruel.”

“Even if [the animals] break out of the snares, they will probably lose their limbs or lose their lives,” added Marx, who argued for stricter penalties for wildlife traffickers.

Additional reporting by Leonie Kijewski

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