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‘Poachers’ lure birds with song

Two villagers were arrested for poaching 30 shama birds in a protected area in Mondulkiri province yesterday. Facebook
Two villagers were arrested for poaching 30 shama birds in a protected area in Mondulkiri province yesterday. Facebook

‘Poachers’ lure birds with song

Two poachers allegedly caught with 30 shama birds they planned to send to buyers in Vietnam lured them by playing birdsongs on speakers in a wildlife sanctuary in Mondulkiri.

Keo Sopheak, provincial environmental department director, said two men caught the 30 white-rumped shama songbirds in Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary in Koh Nhek district’s Sre Huy commune. He said rangers arrested them on Tuesday when they were transporting the birds out of the forest on a motorbike.

“They poached the birds and destroyed their nests illegally. They’re facing at least one year in prison,” Sopheak said.The duo, he added, attracted the birds by playing birdsongs on loudspeakers.

The rangers released the birds unharmed, he said.

“They attempted to sell the birds to a broker, who would send them to Vietnam. This kind of bird is very popular there. Each can be sold for up to 50,000 riel [about $12.50],” he said.

Mam Vanda, provincial court spokesman, said the prosecutor charged the men with illegal hunting and destroying nests, before sending them to the investigating judge.

The white-rumped shama isn’t on the list of endangered birds in Cambodia but is sought after as a caged song bird.

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