A group of poachers were recently apprehended by Thai officials because of evidence they abandoned after being discovered, and surprised, by a wildlife patrol team in Thailand’s Western Forest Province. (Huai Kha Khaeng in the Western Forest Complex was one of Panthera's founding Tigers Forever sites, and has been one of the most successful in conserving tigers.) Among other items, the poachers left behind a cell phone containing photos of themselves with a dead tiger, and photos of them trafficking ivory. These images have subsequently been used in their prosecution.
Panthera congratulates the Thai government on this successful bust and hopes it sends a message loud and clear to other would-be-poachers that this illegal activity will not be tolerated.
Through the Tigers Forever program, Panthera is working side by side with local NGOs and governments at key sites across tiger range to increase and strengthen law enforcement patrols and protect tigers from the most urgent threats they currently face – including poaching. Fewer than 3,200 wild tigers that remain across Asia are vanishing as they are directly targeted for their skins and body parts, which are in high demand and fetch a high price on the illegal wildlife market.
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