Two Arrested for Hunting Banteng in Mondolkiri

Military police and wildlife officials on Sunday arrested two men suspected of illegally hunting banteng, an endangered species of cow, in protected areas of Mondolkiri province, according to an official.

Meak Vuthy, an officer for the Forestry Administration’s Keo Seima district, said the men were arrested at about 4 a.m. after they were stopped while driving two motorbikes carrying a total 34.5 kg of banteng meat.

“Because they were driving their motorbikes through the forest at such an unusual time, our team members were suspicious of them and stopped them to check during a routine patrol,” he said, adding that the team of about six rangers, military police and Forestry Administration officials had found the meat inside bags.

Mr. Vuthy identified the suspects as Hou Sophat, 46, and Ie Mao, 32, of Kratie province, and said they would be sent to the Mondolkiri Provincial Court today.

“Even though they said they bought the meat from other people in the forest…we still accused them of hunting the banteng based on the team’s technical assessment,” he said.

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