The 24-hour Wildlife Alliance Wildlife Rescue Hotline has proved to be an extremely successful way of obtaining information regarding the illegal wildlife trade. The Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team (WRRT) was recently tipped off by an informant to inspect the Phsa Samaki Markets in Phnom Penh. There, from a single unattended stall, the team seized two slow lorises, a long-tailed macaque, a blossom-headed parakeet, two hill mynas, two white-vented mynas, eight common mynas, two black-collared starlings, one red collared dove and an Asian koel. Unfortunately, the traders escaped once they saw the team arriving, but the 20 rescued animals were taken to Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center. Less than a week later, the team was called to Bantheay Meanchey Province where local authorities had intercepted a shipment of a large quantity of live turtles. The team assisted the local authorities in prosecuting the wildlife trader for transporting 16 yellow-headed temple turtles, 60 box turtles and 20 black marsh turtles. The WRRT took the turtles to the Forestry Administration offices to be cared for overnight and released them the following day into protected natural habitats. These rescues are encouraging signs of the team’s efforts to educate and motivate provincial Forestry Administration offices to act on wildlife crime and to utilize the team’s wildlife crime hotline. Building capacity and providing support to local government offices is instrumental to creating lasting change and ensuring that wildlife trafficking is being tackled at every level.
Last quarter, the team rescued 1,277 animals and the hotline received 594 phone calls from Wildlife Alliance’s informant network, Forestry Administration offices requiring WRRT’s assistance, and from the public. Calls from the public come from both Cambodian citizens and from foreign visitors with information regarding a wildlife crime or the donation of an animal. The hotline is well advertised throughout the country and proves to be a very effective method of receiving information. Help the Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team continue to rescue thousands of animals from the wildlife trade by making a donation today!
The WRRT is a Forestry Administration law enforcement unit led by the Forestry Administration, in cooperation with the Military Police, with technical and financial support from Wildlife Alliance.