The alleged killer of an Asiatic black bear in Kompong Thom province was arrested Saturday and sent to the provincial court Monda according to Ty Soveintho, chief prosecutor for the provincial court.
Chhun Veng, 35, allegedly killed the bear Friday night, butchered it and was discovered the next morning by RCAF checkpoint officers while bicycling with the beast’s head, legs and meat on the way to a market in Santuk district’s Kraya commune, Ty Soveintho said.
Chhun Veng denied in court that he killed the bear and is now in pretrial detention at a provincial prison awaiting the investigation, according to Ty Soveintho.
“The fine is very high—from [$2,500] to [$25,000]—and the punishment is from five to 10 years” in prison, Ty Soveintho said.
“It is not the first time that our court has fined and punished the hunters,” he also said.
It is illegal to poach the Asiatic black bear, which is classified as vulnerable on the World Conservation Union’s Red List of Threatened Animals.