Wildlife Alliance

Wildlife Alliance is the leader in direct protection to forests and wildlife in the Southeast Asian tropical belt. Our mission is to combat deforestation, extinction, climate change, and poverty by partnering with local communities and governments.
Aug 30, 2016

Investigation Leads to the Arrest of an International Bear Smuggler

The WRRT on patrol.
The WRRT on patrol.

On the morning of July 18th, after a long running investigation, the Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team arrested a prominent, international wildlife trader.  The investigation began when an informant provided details of a woman transporting a bear or bear parts from Thailand to Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  The team was originally notified of the trader’s car and registration plate number and had planned to follow the car to its destination to make the arrest.  However, the trader changed cars multiple times, and the last tip the team received was the car type and the color of the driver’s shirt.  The team found a car matching that description 70 kilometers from the Thailand border.  They decided to pursue and stop the vehicle right away in order to prevent the offender from escaping and ensure the right person was arrested.  The Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team searched the car and found a large cooler in the trunk containing the severed paws of an Asiatic black bear and a smaller cooler in the woman’s handbag with a bear gallbladder inside. 

The woman was arrested and taken to the local Forestry Administration office where she was charged with trading endangered wildlife, a crime punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison.  She will stay in pre-trial detention until her court appearance and is being questioned about the circumstances of her offence and others involved in the crime. Sadly, Asiatic black bears and sun bears are being brutally targeted by poachers in Cambodia for their body parts, which are used in traditional medicine.  Because of this active trade in bears and bear parts, their populations - especially in Southeast Asia – are rapidly declining. Cubs are torn from their mothers and sold into the pet trade.  When they get bigger, they end up imprisoned in tiny cages or sold to bile farms in Vietnam.  Wildlife Alliance has been working since 2001 to end the trade of wildlife in Cambodia and throughout Southeast Asia.  Since then, over 160 trafficked bears have been rescued.  However, the international demand remains high and continued efforts are needed to ensure the long-term survival of bears in the region.  

Thank you for your support in helping Wildlife Alliance and the Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team end wildlife trafficking in Southeast Asia!  

The WRRT is a Forestry Administration law enforcement unit led by the Forestry Administration, in cooperation with the Military Police, with technical and financial support from Wildlife Alliance. 

WRRT members with a bear they rescued.
WRRT members with a bear they rescued.
Aug 30, 2016

Rangers prepare for tigers to be reintroduced to Cambodia

Ranger sets a camera trap.
Ranger sets a camera trap.

Tigers once roamed the entire continent of Asia, but with human expansion they have lost over 93% of their original range. They now survive in small, isolated pockets of forest, where they are vulnerable to poaching and inbreeding.  Out of the six existing tiger subspecies, four subspecies have been classified as Endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), while the other two subspecies have been listed as Critically Endangered.  Poaching, habitat loss and habitat degradation are causing global tiger populations to plummet.  Today, there are only an estimated 3,000-3,600 tigers remaining worldwide. 

The Indochinese tiger, native to Cambodia, has recently been declared functionally extinct in the country.  Fortunately, Cambodia is committed to conserving tigers in the region and has launched the Cambodia Tiger Action Plan (CTAP) as part of Tx2, a global initiative to double the number of tigers worldwide by 2022.  Wildlife Alliance will be a key player in this initiative and is working closely with the government on possible tiger reintroduction into protected forest.  Our initial step has been to conduct a prey base survey in order to determine suitable habitats where tigers can possibly be reintroduced.  Wildlife Alliance has set up camera traps at a pilot site in the Cardamom forest to determine the prey base in the area.  Early photos have shown that there is a high number of sambar deer and wild pigs in the area. Though unlikely, Wildlife Alliance is also monitoring the photos for any evidence of existing tigers in the area. 

Wildlife Alliance's rangers will be key to the success of the reintroduction of tigers to Cambodia. They will protect the forest from poachers targeting tigers and their prey and will prevent habitat loss and degredation in the Cardamom forest.  Thank you for supporting our rangers who strive to make the Cardamom rainforest safe for all its wild inhabitants! 

Step 1: Tiger prey base survey.
Step 1: Tiger prey base survey.
Tigers are functionally extinct in Cambodia.
Tigers are functionally extinct in Cambodia.
Aug 30, 2016

One 'Lucky' Elephant

Lucky takes her daily walk through the woods.
Lucky takes her daily walk through the woods.

Lucky: a fitting name for the young female elephant who has made a full recovery from her brush with death at the beginning of last year. In February 2015, Lucky contracted Endotheliotropic Elephant Herpes Virus, a virus fatal to over 90% of the elephants who contract it.  Over a year later, Lucky is finally off all medication, is gaining weight and is getting back to her old, healthy self.  By December 2015, Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center (PTWRC) staff was still injecting Lucky every other day with 500mg of the corticosteroid that helped save her life.  Her caretakers gradually reduced her medication until a few months ago when she was finally healthy enough to stop receiving medication.  Although she has recovered from the virus, the illness severely harmed Lucky’s immune system and she contracts frequent infections which are treated as they come. 

Lucky’s treatments, which cost over $40,000, were made possible by many generous donors like you.  Although it was a large expense, the life of this magnificent endangered animal is priceless.  Lucky has been at PTWRC for fifteen years after she was rescued at just six months of age.  She has become our Elephant Ambassador and has touched the hearts of thousands and has inspired the next generation of conservationists and environmentalists in Cambodia.  She even acted as an adoptive mother when the injured elephant Chhouk arrived at the center.  Lucky is an incredible animal that continues to inspire us all.  We are happy to have her back to her old cheeky self, once again throwing dirt and water at visitors when she doesn’t get enough attention from them. 

Thank you for helping us save the lives of Lucky and other rescued animals at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center! 

Healthy and happy to see her caretaker!
Healthy and happy to see her caretaker!
 
   

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