Wildlife Alliance was proud to organize couple of events in the past month to raise awareness about the snares that are a problem in Cambodian forests.
Our amazing local artist Sopheap did an exceptional job of creating a sculpture of our elephant Chhouk who was himself captured in a snare and has lost the bottom of his foot. taken out of the forest by our rangers! Snares are a simple inexpensive piece of wire or rope that is non selective in what animals they trap. They will catch absolutely anything that walks across the loop, and the rope only pulls tighter as the animal struggles. Cambodia is very unique in that it is illegal to trap wildlife. It is also illegal to buy, sell, trade, or breed wildlife.
Our Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team has the ability to find the people who are engaged in these activities and have the authority to confiscate animals and vehicles and issue fines on the spot. While this is very forward thinking and the Cambodian government should be proud of this achievement, there is still a loophole that we feel needs to be addressed. While it is illegal to actually catch wildlife in a snare, it is legal to actually set the snare. This means that the rangers need to be in the right place at the right time to save the animals that are caught, and issue fines to those that have set the trap. We need to let the government know that there is a need to address this gap in the laws.
The Chhouk snare sculpture is currently on display at the Ministry of Environment office located at 48, Samdach Preah Sihanouk Boulevard. If you have the time when you are in the city it would be great if you are able to stop by and take a selfie with Chhouk!
We are hoping that you might email us the photos with a small simple message indicating that you would like the government to make all snares illegal to set in the forest so that we might use this to help us build awareness of the snare problem! This is a great opportunity to be directly involved in helping Cambodian wildlife! Please email photos to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.