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Премия рунета 2017

Chinese poaching outgrew into biological terrorism

23 november 2009
WWF is shocked: a new extremely brutal and snaky type of a bait for large predators was revealed by frontiersmen in the southwest Primorye, kea habitat of the Far Eastern leopard

On November 19, Primorskii Province Frontier Department of the Russia Federal Security Service registered a case of poaching that could be characterized as biological terrorism of Chinese residents who illegally crossed Russian-China border to hunt. As it was noted in a release of the Frontier Department’s press-office, a plastic bag with meat bait was attached to a tree at 4-meters height and three tennis-ball-sized spheres covered with animal fat were fixed around the tree trunk.

As Chinese never used similar ways of hunting before it was difficult even to visualize how the bait worked. The spheres were confiscated as physical evidence by frontiersmen. But when they tried to untie the strings one of the spheres dropped and exploded. Then it became clear what brutal way of animal killing the Chinese had chosen. An animal intrigued by the meat drag climbs the tree and, sniffing tasty smelling spheres, snaps on of them. And – it is horrible to imagine – the sphere stuffed with explosive detonates and blows inside an animal’s jaws…

“We could not call this murdering technique a cruel one. It is a brutal and serpent way dooming an animal to terrible torments and intended for killing leopards or tigers as they are the only animals able to reach such bait this time of the year, — says Pavel Fomenko, biodiversity conservation program coordinator at WWF-Russia’s Amur Branch. — Nowadays, a female leopard with two cubs roams the area where the cruel self-activating trap was found. The tree cats were observed there three days ago (http://www.wwf.ru/resources/news/article/eng/5628).

On the whole, the trap was found in the area where about five leopards could react to it one way or another. Tigers also inhabit this place. It is frightful to think that similar finding could be not a single one and could wait for its last leopard.”

“As early as in 2007, WWF submitted to Jilin and Heilongjiang Provincial Administrations a survey on Chinese poaching in the frontier zone. The Chinese side has taken some measures but apparently insufficient, — comments Yurii Darman, head of WWF-Russia’s Amur Branch. — We have been speaking on different levels about the threat of leopards and tigers destruction by Chinese poachers for many years. Until the trans-boundary Sino-Russian reserve is created with safe and strict protection in Chinese territory the rarest cats of the Globe stay hostages of sophisticated poacher’s brutality.”

Using of explosives is crucially different level of poaching that could be classified as organized crime and in no ways could be done by an individual Chinese “hobo”. The tactics of using any types of passive traps is alike: whether it is a trap, self-made arbalest or explosive the success of such “hunt” could be guaranteed only if homotypic catching devices cover large area. Hence, revealing this single explosive device is not the end of the story; it means a beginning of new big disasters.