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Search on for peacock ‘poachers’

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A peacock was illegally killed in Kampong Chhnang province last week. Koh santepheap daily

Search on for peacock ‘poachers’

The search is on for three unidentified perpetrators alleged to have killed a wild peacock near Phnom Preah Theat pagoda in Kampong Chhnang province’s Samaki Meanchey district last week.

Three unidentified poachers reportedly attempted to hunt seven wild peacocks that were previously seen roaming in the forest close to Phnom Preah Theat pagoda in Peam commune’s Chrok Kov village.

One villager on Friday encountered the group while performing the illegal act, prompting the witness to snap a picture of the scene later used as evidence. Aware that they were being observed, the suspected poachers got into their car and drove off.

Acting president of Phnom Preah Theat pagoda committee Chan Punlue suspected that the same group “had killed a wild peacock before”.

Deputy head of the pagoda committee Bun Sarith said on Sunday: “On May 21, local villagers found a dead peacock in the forest near the base of a mountain. Upon examination, they suggested that the animal had been hit by bullets,” he said.

Sarith said after the accident, local residents and the pagoda committee members were patrolling the forest near the perimeter of a protected area to prevent another instance of illegal wild peacock hunting.

The local residents and authorities have since then sought assistance from the higher authorities and security forces to protect and preserve the wild birds.

“We would like to seek the relevant authorities’ intervention to arrest and punish those illegal hunters accordingly,” Punlue said, adding that his community had the evidence to prove the criminal act.

Commenting on the case, Peam commune police chief Sao Van said his force was still investigating and searching for the accused poachers.

“We have not been able to identify the suspects nor do we have any lead that could help us in locating them,” he said.

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