Two Ratanakkiri men were reprimanded and fined late last week after a joint operation uncovered six mountain tortoises and more than 60 kilograms of illegal wildlife meat in their possession.
The 66-kilogram haul came from a cornucopia of illicit species, including wild boar, flying squirrel, porcupine, red deer, tortoises, black soft-shell turtles and monitor lizards.
The six mountain tortoises, weighing 14 kilos, were released into the forest.
The Lumphat district Forestry Administration, working together with the NGO Wildlife Alliance and other authorities, arrested the pair in Laban Siek commune, Banlung district on Thursday. Lumphat Forestry Administration chief Ly Sophan said the meat had been buried in the forest and declined to name the two men, who will not face charges.
“The two meat transporters were educated [about illegal wildlife trafficking] but they were not fined. They signed contracts promising to stop transporting and trading [wildlife meat] in the future,” Sophan said.
“In the event they do it in the future, they will be sent to the court for legal procedures.”