The Ministry of Environment has stated since the beginning of this year at least 10 banteng have died in Cambodia’s protected areas due to traps and hunting.
The news came after ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra said yesterday a male banteng was found dead in Sorng Rukhavorn, Oddar Meanchey province wildlife sanctuary on Saturday.
“According to the examination and conclusions from rangers, head of the Monks Community Forest and the local authority, the banteng had died of a gunshot wound several days before it was found,” he said.
Mr Pheaktra said the death of the banteng brings the figures for known unnatural deaths of the species to 10 nationally.
He said this includes seven death from hunting and trapping in Kampong Speu and Oddar Meanchey, three deaths due to hunting in the area close to Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary and in Mondulkiri province’s Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary.
“I ask the relevant authorities to please continue to investigate and find the perpetrators involved in the poaching and trapping of wild animals. Ask the people in the localities for information about wildlife poachers and cooperate and inform law enforcement officers,” he said.
“Banteng are one of the most critically endangered species in the world and Cambodia is proud to have it inhabit our land.”
“Therefore, I ask all citizens to please participate in the protection and conservation of wildlife by saying no to wildlife trafficking, consumption of wild meat and the hunting and poaching of wild animals.”
Venerable Bun Saluth, head of the MCF in Oddar Meanchey province said that in one month, two banteng died in the wildlife sanctuary due to trapping and hunting.
“Those dead animals were taken for religious ceremonies and buried next to each other in Kon Kreal commune, Samarong city, Oddar Meanchey,” he said.
Ven Saluth also asked Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Environment and provincial authorities to help investigate and arrest them in order to conserve the country’s wildlife.
“Please help to disseminate, educate and prohibit people from committing these types of crimes, especially within our wildlife sanctuaries,” he said.
According to the Ministry of Environment’s report, the number of banteng in Cambodia is between 2,700 and 5,700.
This suggests that Cambodia has the highest numbers of the endangered banteng species globally.
The report also added that in the first four months of this year, more than 10,000 traps have been removed from protected areas and more than 300 weapons used for hunting have been seized.