A Change of Guard

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Thursday, 31 March 2016

Turtles, pythons saved en route to Vietnam

Manekseka Sangkum

One of the effects of the existence of the 'good' relations between Cambodia and Vietnam following the installing in power of the current CPP regime in 1979 by Hanoi has been the unprecedented rape and over-exploitation of the country's wildlife, fishery and some rare animal species as well as domestic animals [such as dogs kidnapped, traded to feed dog meat market in Vietnam and in selective eateries in Cambodia] king cobras and various venomous and non-venous snakes that feed on rats thus helping farmers to keep rat population to a minimum and off their rice fields. 

Vietnam and Cambodia may be next door neighbours and have been so for centuries, yet the differences in cultural attitude, morality, demographic density, share and use of natural riches couldn't be more pronounced. Within the same period [a blink of an eye in this country's thousand long history] and for the first time, these ecological balance and natural food source have been scaled down to the point of irreversible extinction and crisis, and unlike the "social engineering" and ideological blunders of the Pol Pot regime, the catastrophe has been man-made of a somewhat different nature: greed sponsored by official corruption. In most rivers and lakes here, even juvenile fish species are not spared. Yet, the most reprehensible agency of this crisis is not even the mass influx of Vietnamese settlers into the country, which most Cambodians feel need to be curbed or even reversed, but rather, the dysfunctional capacity of the authorities and or their unwillingness to get to the core of the crisis and taking it head on. The mass floating Vietnamese settlement/shanty town situated in the province of Kg Chhnang, among other such residential anarchies in the country are living testimonies to this administrative malfunction. 

When a once naturally rich, abundant and plentiful land dies, sooner or later, its loss will be felt by all, whatever their 'race' or ethnicity.   


Forestry Administration officials display a haul of animals intended to be illegally sold in Vietnam. Photo supplied
Forestry Administration officials display a haul of animals intended to be illegally sold in Vietnam. Photo supplied

Turtles, pythons saved en route to Vietnam
ppp Wed, 30 March 2016
Phak Seangly

A truck carrying 103 endangered yellow-headed temple turtles, six Burmese pythons and 11 reticulated pythons intended for sale in Vietnam was intercepted in Kandal’s Kien Svay district on Monday by Forestry Administration (FA) officials.

According to E Sophy, chief of the Kien Svay district FA, the 18-wheeler was loaded with 443 kilograms of turtles and 127 kilograms of pythons packed in bags.

“We got a tip that the truck was setting off from Battambang province,” Sophy said, adding that “it is the hugest ever crackdown” under his watch.

However, the driver of the truck managed to escape during the inspection because “we did not have many officers”, Sophy said.

Sophy said the individual responsible has one month to pay a fine before the case is handed to a court.

Yesterday morning, the animals, minus one turtle that had died, were handed over to conservation NGO Wildlife Alliance to be released in the wild or held at the Phnom Tamao wildlife rescue centre.

Sun Yoeung, Conservation International-Cambodia’s Mekong program manager, said the turtles are one of 12 endangered tortoise species in the Kingdom and are often trafficked to China and Vietnam.

“It is very expensive since it is used for medicine and food,” he said.

Burmese pythons are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN; reticulated pythons are not listed.

Separately, FA officials, military police and Wildlife Alliance staff on Sunday wrapped a three-day patrol in Kampong Speu’s Oral district in which they tore down two illegal logging camps, seizing 11 chainsaws and a dead peacock.


Anonymous said...

“It is very expensive since it is used for medicine and food,”

That's it - the medicine they feed to Hun Sen to make him docile and obedient to Vietnam boss!!!

Who is able to counter Vietnam with the same success using what they eat?

Anonymous said...

Ah Chor Yuon steal every thing !!