Police step in as 2 more gaurs killed

Police step in as 2 more gaurs killed

A male and female gaur have been shot, and the cow butchered in Nakhon Ratchasima province. (Bangkok Post file photo M2F)
A male and female gaur have been shot, and the cow butchered in Nakhon Ratchasima province. (Bangkok Post file photo M2F)

Authorities have sought police intervention after two more large gaurs were killed in a forest in Wang Nam Khieo district of Nakhon Ratchasima, allegedly by poachers.

Staff from a wildlife sanctuary have filed a police complaint after the latest case which takes the number of gaurs killed in Nakhon Ratchasima this month to three.

The two mature gaurs were apparently shot by poachers, and one of them, a female, was stripped of its meat and innards with only its head intact.

Their carcasses were found by residents near the foot of the Khao Phang Ma mountain in Ban Khao Phang Ma in the district. The body of the second, male gaur, was left untouched.

The female bovine weighed more than 500 kilogrammes and the bull more than a tonne, according to officials.

The area where the gaurs were found was being inspected by wildlife officials from the provincial conservation office 7.

The officials have submitted a complaint to the local police, who have started investigating the latest gaur killings.

Word of the killing of the gaur came just days after a new report compiled jointly by World Wildlife Federation and TRAFFIC of the alarming growth of animal trafficking from the Golden Triangle.

The animals have been listed since 1986 as "vulnerable" by the IUCN Red List of endangered species.

On Nov 8, another gaur was shot dead in the middle of a tapioca farm near Wat Pa Wang Sai, also in Wang Nam Khieo district, leading to the arrest of a tapioca farmer, who allegedly shot and killed the animal when it raided the farm in search of food.

Pol Col Meechai Kumnerdprom, chief of Wang Nam Khieo police, said experts were examining the remains of the gaurs and police were waiting for the test results.

Police have questioned witnesses who discovered the carcasses of the gaurs and investigators are trying to determine whether a gang of poachers had a hand in the killings.

Nakhon Ratchasima governor Wichian Chantharanothai said it was alarming that three gaurs have been killed only five days apart.

He said a growing number of people in wildlife sanctuaries has forced some of the animals to expand their habitats and encroach on farms in search of food.

The governor added it was important to find ways to prevent the wild animals from destroying crops, which could drive the farmers to take drastic measures.

The provincial office, residents and the national park unit have met to address the problem. Suggestions put forth included building electric fences and raising bees around the farms to drive away the wild animals.

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