Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Woman caught with bear parts in Banteay Meanchey

Woman caught with bear parts in Banteay Meanchey

A forestry official holds the limbs of an Asiatic black bear yesterday in Banteay Meanchey province after they were seized from a woman who allegedly brought them from Thailand. Wildlife Alliance
A forestry official holds the limbs of an Asiatic black bear yesterday in Banteay Meanchey province after they were seized from a woman who allegedly brought them from Thailand. Wildlife Alliance

Woman caught with bear parts in Banteay Meanchey

A woman was arrested in Banteay Meanchey province on Monday, accused of smuggling Asiatic black bear body parts from Thailand.

Chan Vanak, 38, from Thmar Puok district, allegedly brought the body parts in a taxi through the Boeung Trakuon checkpoint where she was identified by an informant of the Wildlife Alliance’s Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team (WRRT).

“It is an Asiatic black bear, which is the most endangered species. The paws and gallbladder are fresh and bought from Thailand, from a forest area near the border,” said Vuthy Ravong, leader of the rescue team that confronted Vanak on National Road 56 in Kampong Svay commune, near Sisophon.

“Vanak claimed that her sister was ill and she bought the body parts to cure her,” Ravong said.

Sisophon Forestry Administration official Uk Hok Thavoreak said: “Our officials found four paws and a gallbladder of a bear with her weighing 10.5kg. She bought the parts and was attempting to take them to Phnom Pen for use in traditional medicine.”

Asiatic black bears and sun bears are often poached for use in traditional medicine. Gallbladders are particularly sought after because of bear bile’s purported medicinal properties.

Possession of bear body parts carries a potential prison term of one to five years and a fine of up to 100 million riel (about $24,000).

The evidence was seized as state property, with the paws and gallbladder being taken to Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center in Takeo province.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ethnic group ‘disappointed’ to be denied French visas to attend court

    Eleven people at the centre of a case involving seven indigenous Bunong villages in Mondulkiri province pursuing legal action in France have expressed disappointment after the French embassy in Phnom Penh denied their visa applications to attend court. A press release said the 11 included a

  • Cambodia nabs 12th place in best retirement destinations

    Cambodia is an expatriate hotspot for those dreaming of living a more luxurious lifestyle at an affordable cost, according to International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index 2019. For the fourth year in a row, Cambodia took the top spot in the Cost of Living category.

  • EU starts EBA withdrawal

    The EU on Monday announced that it has begun the 18-month process of withdrawing the Kingdom’s access to its preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement over “a deterioration of democracy [and] respect for human rights”. However, the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) said

  • PM: War result of foreign meddling

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Sunday that Cambodia’s recent history of conflict was caused by foreign interference. “The wars that happened were caused by provocation, incitement, support, smearing and interference from foreign powers, and the group of ignorant people who pushed Cambodia to