Angkor Center for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB)
November 17, 2020
During a patrol, the Sre Ambel Station rangers recently confiscated seven live monkeys, 16 turtles and two kilograms of monkey meat, according to a Wildlife Alliance Facebook post. The wildlife was likely heading for a restaurant or the pet trade, the Facebook post explained on March 18. With the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) believed to have originated in a wildlife and wet market in the city of Wuhan in China, it was expected that illegal wildlife trade would decrease in view of the pandemic triggered by COVID-19. But this does not seem to have been the case. “If anything, we are noticing an increase in poaching and smuggling, rather than the much hoped-for decrease that everyone was expecting,” Suwanna Gauntlett, CEO and Founder of Wildlife Alliance, said on May 19. “Our Wildlife Alliance rangers on ground are witnessing more poachers coming into the forest with guns and snares,” she said. The main hotspot is the Vietnam border, which also has a high-level of illegal deforestation and poaching, she added.