Environment rangers in Oddar Meanchey province on Friday found an endangered male banteng dead inside a conservation area in Sorng Rukhavon community forest and suspect poaching is to blame.
Venerable Bun Saluth, Sorng Rukhavon Community head, yesterday said a male banteng was found dead inside the community forest in Choukmeas village. He noted that the banteng, which weighed approximately 500 kilograms, was wounded on its left leg and back.
Ven Saluth said provincial rangers suspect that the banteng might have died from the wounds, as well as from old age.
“We discovered snares 500 metres away from where rangers found the carcass, as well as an electric device that could have inflicted the injury on its back,” he said.
The carcass was taken to the provincial environment department office to be preserved.
Ven Saluth noted that during recent patrols, rangers discovered dozens of wildlife traps, snares and electric devices around the conservation area. He noted that rangers have been removing the devices and releasing trapped animals back into the jungle.
“Most of the harmed animals were wild pigs and red deer,” he said. “Poachers now use electric devices, which work fast, and make it harder for us to crack down on the problem.”
Phuong Lina, director of Oddar Meanchey’s environment department, said authorities continue to work hard on tackling illegal wildlife trade, adding that authorities patrol conservation areas at least 10 times a month.
“I admit that wildlife crimes continue to occur here, but we cooperate with other relevant ministries to suppress such offences,” he said. “The number of wildlife crimes has decreased compared to previous year.”
Mr Lina noted in the last two years, authorities have collected three banteng carcasses and one gaur carcass from conservation areas, which have been preserved at the provincial environment department’s office.
Neth Pheaktra, Environment Ministry spokesman, citing a report yesterday said there are approximately 2,000 to 4,000 banteng currently living in Cambodia’s eastern plains.
Most of the banteng in Cambodia reside in protected areas to prevent exposure to illegal poaching, habitat destruction and diseases.