Two men were arrested and their chainsaw seized by Busra Waterfall security forces and Pech Chreada district police on Tuesday evening, after they were caught felling a tree near Mondulkiri province tourism-magnet Busra Waterfall.
Busra Waterfall director Phon Savoeun said the pair, Chhem To, 32, and Ronhek Kro Nhor, 15, were ethnic Bunong from Puteut village in Pech Chreada district’s Busra commune.Video footage showed the pair slicing the trunk into planks with the chainsaw.
The duo claimed they were poor and needed wood to build a table and a wall of their house, said Savoeun. However, they insisted their motivations were not entirely self-interested, they were also concerned that the tree, being dead, might fall on unsuspecting passers-by.
“Seeing as they logged a dead tree which had been dead for two years, the authorities decided to release them, but they were required to sign a contract promising to not to log timber in tourist spots again, whether the tree is alive or dead,” he said.