Mon. Nov 28th, 2022

VietNamNet Bridge – The footprints of poachers can be found everywhere in the Ke
Go natural forest and Huong Son watershed forest in Ha Tinh, the “hot spot,”
where the wildlife has been killed in masses.


Vietnam, environment, poaching, forest, wildlife, prices


Poaching, a profitable career

When meeting Le Van P, a professional hunter in Ky Thuong commune of Ky Anh
district, to the forest, reporters got very surprised when realizing that P did
not bring any special tools to hunt for wild animals.

All what P brought with himself were just rice, fish sauce, salt, food, and an
iron detector. “The traps have been left in the forest, while hunters don’t
bring with themselves,” he explained. “What about the iron detector?” – “It is
just for disguise. No one would think we go hunting with the thing.”

After 20 minutes of riding motorbikes, P and the reporters reached to the Ke Go
natural forest, hid their motorbikes and then walked into the forest.

There are many principles that all poachers have to follow: they have to take
gentle steps, not to leave tracks, and especially, they must not touch even the
cobwebs, or the forest rangers would discover their whereabouts.

The traps P used were small and simple, which could only trap small animals such
as monkeys, raccoons, squirrels, porcupines or jungle fowls.

According to P, every professional poacher sets some 40 or 50 traps in the
forest and they check the traps twice a day, at 6 am and 4 pm. It takes some one
hour each time to check the traps. Meanwhile, the other time of the day is spent
on making new traps or preparing food.

The rainy season is the peak business season of the poachers. Though their works
turn harder in the season, they can earn more money.

T said the forest area had been deserted until 1995; therefore, it was easy to
hunt for roebucks, deer and monkeys. However, the big wild animals have
disappeared over the last 15 years, because they have been chased by people.

“In the past, people sometimes trapped animals for parties which were organized
occasionally. However, nowadays, when animal meat is considered a precious
specialty, trapping animals has become a career that can feed the whole
families,” P said.

When asked about the animal meat price, P said live animals are very expensive.
Java mouse-deer could be priced at up to VND480,000, weasel VND700,000 and
porcupine VND150,000 per kilo. The trapped animals are legs broken or injured
still can be sold, but the poachers must retain the fur to prove that they are
wild animals.

The “hot spot” of Ha Tinh

Ha Tinh province in Vietnam has been well known as the “metropolis” of wildlife
meat trade. Those, who want to enjoy wild animal meat, can go to the numerous
restaurants in the “hot spot” area.

The owner of S restaurant in Ky Thinh commune of Ky Anh district assured the
reporters, who introduced themselves as the customers who were seeking to buy
some kilos of wildlife meat, that he can provide products in big quantities with
spot deliveries.

“If you want pangolin, you would have to wait some days. Meanwhile, other kinds
of meat, from snakes, porcupines to weasel, are always available,” he said.

The dishes made of the meat of the precious wild animals all have been shown in
the menus at S and other restaurants in the area. Wild animals have been
marketed in the open air. Meanwhile, the sellers assure customers that they
would satisfy the customers’ orders just one hour after customers make calls to
place orders.


By vivian