More than 200 illegal snares have over the past two weeks been removed from the Prambei Mom Forest community area in Kampong Speu’s Thpong district.
Liv Sarum said on Thursday that patrols of the forest community in Prambei Mom commune found the traps, with 117 of them collected on Wednesday.
“We find, remove and confiscate snares almost every day, but we rarely find the hunters. Early this month we caught one poacher, but released him,” he said.
Hunting had not decreased despite numerous educational drives having been carried out and announcements made, he said.
The poachers did not only set snares in his community forest, which covers 862ha, but also in neighbouring areas. This caused further challenges for his community, which is under the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, he said.
“We have educated people and made announcements for years to stop the hunting of wildlife, but the crimes still occur. We will no longer tolerate it. When we arrest poachers, we will send them to court,” Sarum said.
His community had experienced many difficulties recently, especially a shortage of water, he said.
Keo Omaliss, the director-general of the Forestry Administration at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, could not be reached for comment.
However, on Tuesday, he posted on Facebook that the Prambei Mom Forest community had received support and donations – including an office, a bathroom, a 3,000l water container, a fire engine, GPS, coats, binoculars and two million riel ($500) – for use in their community and to protect the endangered banteng.
He also called on the public and businesses to donate to the 636 forest communities under the ministry in the country.
Donations, he said, made a huge difference to forest communities and expressed optimism that the number of banteng, a species of wild cattle, would increase in the future.