The Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team (WRRT) searched a furniture shop in Cambodia’s capital after obtaining a warrant. Inside, they found the horns of Endangered and Vulnerable animals mounted on wood heads and nearly 100 feathers from endangered green peafowls. The horns consisted of three pairs of gaur (V) horns, one pair of sambar deer (V) horns, and three pairs of banteng (E) horns. These species all have declining populations, shrinking habitats and are heading towards extinction, and yet they are targeted by hunters so they can be turned into décor. The international trade in wildlife parts is one of the main threats facing all four of these species. The WRRT is combating the illegal wildlife trade by identifying and cracking down on trade networks.
The furniture shop owner was penalized with a hefty fine of $6,980.55 (27,922,200 KHR) for illegally selling endangered wildlife parts.
In another operation, the WRRT traveled to the northeast province of Ratanakiri to investigate a local market reputed to sell bushmeat. With information about a vendor selling wildlife meat behind beef, the team ambushed the market from two sides and sealed off the stalls selling beef.
After searching the stalls in question, the team found and confiscated 381 lbs (173 kg) of wildlife meat, including Sambar deer, red muntjac, wild pig, Burmese hare, porcupine, and Bengal monitor. All the meat was confiscated and destroyed.
Unfortunately, the sellers were not at their stalls when the team arrived and did not return once the team raided the stalls. Market vendors know that selling meat from wild animals is illegal, but because the WRRT covers the entire country, law enforcement from local government is needed to stomp out the illegal wildlife trade in local markets. The WRRT is working with local authorities to stop the illegal sale of wildlife in this market.
Thank you for helping us crack down on the illegal wildlife trade.