And she has reason to be fearful. While the Khmer Rouge may be long gone, patrolling the forest can turn deadly. According to the Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra, two rangers have been gunned down in recent memory. “In the past eight years, two rangers were killed,” he told the Phnom Penh Post “and many others were injured on missions for the cause of the environment and our natural resources.”
Those killed while on duty include:
Teurn Soknai, Ministry of Environment Ranger;
Sek Wathana, Military Police Officer; and
Thul Khna, WCS SMART Officer,
Who were killed on January 30th in the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary (KSWS) while on patrol near the Cambodia-Vietnam border, according to a statement from Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).
“Every day, rangers and law enforcement staff risk their lives to protect wildlife and forests,” said WCS Cambodia director Ross Sinclair. “Soknai, Wathana and Khna will always be remembered as conservation heroes.”