Two farmers caught with dead monkeys in Mondolkiri province’s Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary have been charged with poaching endangered wildlife.
A community patrol team arrested Touch Rath, 51, and Chin Sreng, 40, on Saturday after rangers spotted three men carrying two dead black-shanked douc langurs along a forest track, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society.
A complaint was sent to the provincial court and two of the men were charged under Cambodia’s Protected Areas Law after being questioned at the court on Monday, said Eng Mengey, communications officer for the conservation NGO.
The crime carries a prison sentence of up to 5 years and a fine of up to 100 million riel, or about $25,000, the NGO said.
Both men are being detained in the provincial prison while awaiting trial, Meas Bros, a court spokesman, said on Tuesday.
Black-shanked douc langurs—listed as globally endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature—are hunted for meat and for use in traditional medicine.
The species is only found in Vietnam and Cambodia, and the Keo Seima sanctuary has the largest remaining population in the world, with an estimated 20,000 animals in 2014, the conservation society said.
“Illegal poaching is still occurring inside the protected area, even though KSWS rangers and community rangers are working hard to patrol the forest,” said Tan Setha, the NGO’s technical adviser to the wildlife sanctuary.
“Demand for bush meat for consumption and traditional medicine leads to poaching that is now threatening the survival of key species,” he added.
In April, rangers confiscated two dead black-shanked douc langurs in the same area.
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