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Wildlife Alliance patrol uncovers dead muntjac, illegal equipment

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Thmor Roung station rangers in Koh Kong province found the carcass of a red muntjac during a recent three-day patrol. Wildlife Alliance

Wildlife Alliance patrol uncovers dead muntjac, illegal equipment

NGO Wildlife Alliance said the carcass of a red muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak) was found by Thmor Roung station rangers in Koh Kong province during a recent three-day patrol.

During the patrol, the rangers released six wild chickens into the jungle and seized a mini-tractor carrying illegal timber, 69 snares, a home-made rifle and eight chainsaws.

Wildlife Alliance has called on the people to stop the consumption of wildlife.

In a January 6 Facebook post, it said: “Wildlife consumption supports the barbaric slaughter of Cambodia’s wildlife, many of which succumb to a slow and painful death through getting caught in snares.”

The NGO is launching a “#StopEatingWildlife” social media campaign in a bid to fight wildlife meat supply, demand and consumption.

Its goals are to teach consumers about the health hazards associated with wildlife meat consumption and explain how its trade supports the cruel habit of snaring wild animals.

“The campaign will complement our other efforts to break the supply chain and fight demand. This includes the continuous removal of snares by our Cardamom Forest Protection Programme (CFPP) and raids on vendors of wildlife by our Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team (WRRT).

“Our Kouprey Express team has been inspiring and educating communities to become stewards of their natural environment,” Wildlife Alliance said on its website.

It further said: “It is estimated that three-quarters of new human diseases are transmitted from animals, also known as zoonotic diseases.

“The trade and consumption of wildlife pose not only a health risk to individual consumers but also the public, as evidenced by the outbreak of the coronavirus that is believed to have originated in a wildlife market in Wuhan, China.”

A Wildlife Alliance Facebook post on Saturday said the Ministry of Environment officials and Wildlife Alliance rangers seized two chainsaws and two bird nets from the Chhay Areng protected area in Koh Kong province’s Thma Bang district in late March.

They also rescued four wild animals during the crackdown, which was part of their wider effort to stop illegal activities in the Cardamom Rainforest Landscape.

Wildlife Alliance founder and CEO Suwanna Gauntlett said the NGO is urging the people to stop consuming wildlife animals through its #StopEatingWildlife campaign on social media.

She said Wildlife Alliance has been countering the illegal wildlife trade with the WRRT, which is the only full-time wildlife law enforcement unit in Asia.

The WRRT was founded in 2001 as a collaborative effort between the Forestry Administration, the Royal Gendarmerie, the Fisheries Department, and Wildlife Alliance.

In 2015, the WRRT received the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) award for “best wildlife law enforcement unit in Asia”.

“Today, in the face of Covid-19, we are adding to our efforts a new social media campaign, #StopEatingWildlife, urging wealthy Cambodians to set good examples by not eating wildlife,” Gauntlett said.

She said the CFPP, a collaborative effort between Wildlife Alliance and the government, has 10 stations within Cambodia.

Last year, forest rangers seized 99 rifles, removed 22,392 snares and, and confiscated 17,277 metres of net snares used to catch birds, bats and small mammals which drink from rivers.

To report a wildlife crime, call the Wildlife Crime Hotline at (+855) 12 500 094.

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