Mobile phone tiger poachers jailed for 4 years
It has been two years since this tigress and her two cubs were killed by a Hmong hilltribe man and a Vietnamese citizen in Thailand. The poachers then went on to capture the slaughter as a photo on their mobile phone. The two men have finally been brought to justice and have been sentenced to four years imprisonment. These convictions are the most severe penalties that have ever been granted for wildlife crimes in Thailand.
The two poachers used poison to kill the tigers and then sold all three carcasses for £6,300. The poachers were apprehended last summer after their mobile phone was confiscated by authorities. The photos of the tigress found on the phone matched a tigress that conservationists had been tracking in Thailand’s Western Forest Complex. This contradicted the statement given by the poachers, who claimed the tiger was killed in Myanmar. The stripes of a tiger are completely unique and act like a humans fingerprint in identifying certain animals.
“The fact that the poachers cannot resist recording their own crimes – some even making videos using their mobile phones – is a bonus for wildlife crime investigators in an otherwise sad situation” says Melanie Shepherd, CEO of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation which runs TigerTime.
The TigerTime team are relieved that these poachers have finally been punished for their horrific actions. The fact that Thailand authorities have given these sentences shows us that wildlife crime is finally being taken seriously and with this, it is hoped that such crimes will be reduced. However, we cannot help thinking that the life of a beautiful tigress and her two cubs are worth more than 4 years jail time. Still, this is a step in the right direction and we hope it will make other wildlife criminals think twice about committing such heinous crimes.
You can continue to help us support our tiger projects and save the tiger in the wild by donating here. Your donations really can help stop wildlife crimes like this.
Written by: Chantelle M Henderson
Source: The Wildlife Conservation Society