Wildlife Alliance rangers have uncovered a new type of innovative homemade gun that poachers are using to decimate wildlife in Cambodia’s Cardamom Mountains. Only a few guns of the new design have been confiscated by rangers, all of them in recent months, suggesting that poachers are starting to change their tactics. The new design is made entirely from Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) plastic and uses marbles as ammunition; a small gas canister fills up a plastic chamber that fires a marble at a sufficient speed to kill the animal.
These aren’t the first homemade guns confiscated by rangers. Since the establishment of the Cardamom Forest Protection Program in 2002, more than 900 guns have been confiscated from the hands of poachers. However, these new guns differ from their more-traditional counterparts — the design is far more simple — that are made from wood and rely on gunpowder to fire loose ball bearings.
One of the new design guns confiscated from poachers by Wildlife Alliance rangers.