Animals around the world are threatened by factors ranging from climate change to habitat loss, but perhaps the most pressing threat they face today is poaching. Estimated to worth US $19 billion annually, the illegal wildlife trade has escalated from a conservation issue to a worldwide criminal enterprise that is decimating wildlife populations and increasingly being linked to terrorism. The illegal wildlife trade is the great threat facing wildlife species in Southeast Asia.
Some of the horror stories we have witnessed are live macaques exported as delicacy foods for their brains to beaten while still alive, live bears sold to bear bile farms where they are exploited their entire life inside small cages with milking machines pumping out their bile every day, and pangolins boiled alive in enormous pressure cookers to harvest their scales.
The Wildlife Alliance Approach
Wildlife Alliance’s counter wildlife trafficking program focusses its conservation efforts in Cambodia because it is source, transit country, and destination for many of the world’s most trafficked and valuable species. In 2001, Wildlife Alliance partnered with the Cambodian government to implement an urban law enforcement team, known as the Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team (WRRT) that cracks down 24/7 on the rampant wildlife trade throughout the country. The team investigates trade networks, apprehends wildlife traffickers, and rescues and releases animals that have fallen victim to the trade.
The Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team (WRRT) is a close-knit team of government officers who are putting their life on the line to save helpless wild animals from cruel suffering and death. Led by the Forestry Administration with four judicial police, the WRRT has the authority to investigate and crack down on wildlife crime all over the country of Cambodia, inside national parks, on roads, in cities, and on national borders. Military police from the Royale Gendarmerie provide security and law enforcement with eight officers. Wildlife Alliance provides animal husbandry training, technical assistance for investigations, and logistical and financial support with two full-time staff dedicated to the unit.
The ongoing presence of the WRRT has disrupted the wildlife trafficking by up to 75% in Cambodia and ensured that wildlife is no longer eaten at 90% of the restaurants in the nation’s capital.
- In 2015, the WRRT received the United Nations Award for “ Best Wildlife Law Enforcement Unit in Asia.”
- In 2014, the team was recognized by TRAFFIC who stated in its Bear Report that the WRRT is “the leading example in anti-wildlife trafficking law enforcement” with “high level of sustained enforcement and efficacious seizure.”
- In 2012, the WRRT received the Disney Conservation Hero Award.
- Since 2011, the WRRT has served as Cambodia’s National Task Force for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN), responsible for interrupting cross-border wildlife trafficking.
- The most recent achievement of Wildlife Alliance and WRRT is involvement in the arrest of an African ivory smuggler in cooperation with Customs (read more); training of Customs officers at two international airports and one international harbor resulting in 12 cases of African elephant ivory and rhino horn seizures over the last 24 months; and involvement in the investigation of a three-ton ivory shipment from Kenya through Cambodia to Laos.
To report wildlife crime in Cambodia, please call our 24-hour wildlife rescue hotline number at +855-012-500-094 or email us at email@example.com.
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Wild animals in Cambodia are classified as state property, and to trade in them is illegal. Wildlife include all wild birds, mammals and reptiles of Cambodia.
To report wildlife crimes or wild animals in danger:
1) Call 012 500 094 or email firstname.lastname@example.org in all instances.
2) Send us a message with picture if you can.
3) Include location in your post and a Google Map location if you can.
4) Include the types and number of animals if you know them.
5) Feel free to share posts found on Facebook that you think might show recent wildlife crime in Cambodia if no action has been taken.
Feel free to report on:
– Wild animals being kept as pets in private homes, villages, pagodas, hotels, restaurants or other businesses.
– Wild animals for sale as pets at markets or pet shops.
– Wild animals displayed as tourist attractions or kept in unregistered zoos.
– Wild animals or animal parts used in traditional practices or medicines.
– Souvenirs made from wild animal parts.
– Bushmeat or wild animal meat on restaurant menus.
– Wild animals that have been injured, malnourished or mistreated in any way.
– Poaching activities of any kind.
Your report will be examined by a number of volunteer wildlife experts from different conservation organizations. Whenever possible reports will be forwarded to the relevant wildlife protection agency. You can share your post publicly on on our page, or privately through a private message. Private messages will be treated confidentially and we will protect your identity.
Please note that we encourage all reports. If you are unsure which animals are protected under Cambodian law please post your report anyway. We will investigate it for you, and all the information gathered will help us gain a better understanding of legal and illegal wildlife trade in Cambodia and can help us build public awareness to stop this problem.
Please read our FAQ, CONTACT INFO, or REPORTING GUIDELINES for additional information on reporting, wildlife trade and conservation organization contact information.