Snares empty forests in Lao, Cambodia and Vietnam

Following the release of a report last week highlighting the devastating impact of snares on wildlife across Southeast Asia, the World Wildlife Fund has called on governments in the region to up their efforts to catch and punish perpetrators.

Snaring an animal is easy.

You hook up a cheap loop of wire, nylon rope, or twisted cable to a tree and leave it sitting on the jungle floor. It snags the animal as it steps through the loop and traps it there, tied to a tree, waiting for the hunter to come back. They’re so efficient, in fact, that there are now around 12.3 million of them littering forests in Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Vietnam, according to the World Wildlife Fund report Silence of the Snares: Southeast Asia’s Snaring Crisis.

These traps don’t discriminate what they catch. They capture everything that walks on the ground, from squirrels and apes, to pangolins, bears, elephants and tigers. According to the report, snaring impacts 80% of Southeast Asian families of land mammals. Sometimes the animal will hang there, struggling for days or weeks before dying of their injury. Maybe they’ll die of dehydration or starvation instead, or, if they’re lucky, they’ll escape with one less limb.

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