Illegal poachers shoot and kill Chon Buri forest ranger
Illegal poachers shot and killed a Chon Buri forest ranger in the Sri Racha district on Thursday night.
A group of 14 rangers came across the poachers while on a routine patrol in the Khao Khiao-Khao Chomphu Wildlife Sanctuary. The rangers attempted to arrest the poachers, and the poachers then started shooting at them, leading to a gunfight.
One of the poachers then shot 59 year old ranger Thanongdet Sunthornworachan in the forehead. Thanongdet was rushed to the nearest hospital, but he later tragically died.
The suspect who shot Thanongdet was identified as 38 year old Theerawat Mookaeo, Matichon reported. Teerawat was charged with the attempted murder of a government official on duty.
Theerawat, as well as the other poachers, were charged with violating Section 53 of the Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act by entering a wildlife sanctuary without permission, violating Section 54 by hunting in a wildlife sanctuary without permission and violating Section 55 by collecting natural resources and spoiling natural resources in a wildlife sanctuary.
The suspects admitted that they entered the forest to check on traps they had laid to catch animals. Authorities found the carcasses of a squirrel and an Asian palm civet on the poachers.
Illegal poaching is a problem in Thailand. The problem is driven by high demands in the black market resulting in high prices of products, according to the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society.
Last year, rangers at Khao Laem national park in Kanchanaburi ordered the removal of four homes, belonging to five people suspected of hunting and killing two endangered Bengal tigers. Rangers received reports of hunters killing wild animals in the national park. They searched the park and found a camp where tiger pelts were hung up to dry and tiger meat was still cooking on a grill. Four suspects later turned themselves in to the police.
After the recent murder in Chon Buri, Thai poachers have taken the life of a human.
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