A rare species of wild Banteng was found dead by park rangers on Friday in a forest in Preah Vihear province’s Choam Ksan district, in Morakot commune, due to a hunter’s trap.
According to the report, the Banteng weighed about one tonne, got its right leg caught in the trap and was alive for at least a night before dying.
Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra said that the ministry regrets the loss of this Banteng which is a rare species in the world.
“It is shocking to see these rare species in the world still under threat of hunting and trapping,” he said.
He added that in 2020, nearly 50,000 traps were removed by rangers from protected areas across the country.
Pheaktra said that in Cambodia, there are between 2,700 and 5,700 Banteng. This makes Cambodia the most populous country in the world, with the total number of Banteng in the world being estimated at between 5,900 and 11,000. Thailand and Indonesia also have only a few hundred Banteng.
“It is known that the Banteng is an endangered species in the world. Cambodia is proud that all people must participate in protecting and conserving wildlife by saying no to wildlife trafficking and not hunting, eating or catching wild animals,” he said.
If there are still people who would like to eat wild animals, he added, then hunting and trapping will continue even with the strict implementation of the law. People must cooperate.
According to a Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Cambodia report last month, some 4,000 individuals of Banteng, listed as a globally endangered species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, are inhabiting Cambodia.
“Bantengs prefer to roam the open and dry deciduous forests where grassy vegetation is found in abundance. They are found scattered across Cambodia, especially in the southwest, north and northwest, as well as a small number in Vietnam. Cambodia probably has the majority of the total wild population. Currently, the population is estimated to be at around 4,000 individuals,” said WCS Cambodia in a press release.
Its population has dramatically decreased over the last few decades, mostly due to habitat loss and hunting for meat and horns, said the same source, adding that diseases and parasites transmitted by domestic livestock are also serious threats to its continued survival.