The Irrawaddy

Two Elephant Poachers Detained in Chaungtha Forest Reserve

Emergency Elephant Rescue Unit

Two suspected poachers were detained by a combined team of authorities after an elephant carcass and weapons used for poaching were discovered in Chaungtha Forest Reserve near Ngwesaung Beach, Pathein Township in Irrawaddy Region on Sunday afternoon.

After receiving a tip-off about an elephant carcass, authorities questioned two suspects from Thitphyu Village, leading to the discovery of the carcass and weapons used in hunting the elephant.

“We have detained two suspected poachers and seized the elephant carcass, its removed skin, firearms and poisoned arrows. Four people were involved in the poaching but two of them managed to escape. The police are trying to arrest the escapees. The Forest Department will formally charge them for poaching,” Police Lieutenant Colonel Khin Maung Latt told the Irrawaddy.

The combined team of the local police, forest rangers and officials from the Forestry Department detained the two suspected poachers, Ko Htwe, known as Thaung Aye, and Nga Du, known as Chit Min Naing, together with two firearms, arrows, bottles of poison, gunpowder, knives, axes, elephant skin and flesh.

“Local people reported to the authorities that they had discovered an elephant carcass. When the team arrived at the village, the carcass had already been hidden. So, the team questioned the two suspected poachers who lived nearest to the scene. The two admitted poaching the elephant and showed the police the carcass, its skin and weapons,” said Dr. Lin Lin Tun, leader of a local elephant conservation group.

The two suspected poachers have been detained at Ngwesaung Police Station and will be charged under Section 37 (a) of the Protection of Wildlife Act.

Poachers killed about 40 wild elephants, which were searching for food in Pathein, Ngapudaw and Thabaung during the period from 2011 to 2017, according to the Pathein Township Police Force.

Translated from Burmese by Myint Win Thein.