State of emergency in Khasan district of Primorye

1.11.2003

poisonIn the begining of November Khasan Prosecutor’s Office started investigating an incident that had happened on Barsovy wildlife refuge, the Far Eastern leopard habitat. As a result of irresponsible human activity, significant part of the wildlife refuge was burnt by napalm.

It was Anatoly Belov, wildlife manager of Primorsky Hunting Management Department, who found an abandoned and plundered military storage of barrels with napalm and other toxic liquids, such as dichlorethane, monoethanalmin, etc. in the central part of Barsovy wildlife refuge, 200 meters far from the Barabashevka river. Gathering and selling scrap metal is considered one of the popular ways for local people to earn money. When local people were looking for scrap metal in the forest, they poured the toxic liquids out of the barrels and burnt it on the river bank. After that, they rolled the barrels down into the river in order to cool them. As a result of such “business”, toxic liquids got into the river causing severe damage to the nature. 800 empty barrels were found on the territory of the wildlife refuge. The total area of destroyed land made a square of 550 x 700 meters. Moreover, 120 burnt barrels were found at the scrap metal reception point in Barabash village.

Anatoly Belov made a right conclusion in his report: “If it rains, there will be an ecological catastrophe not only for the local people of Barabash and other Primorsky villages, but also for every living creature in the Barabashevka river area”.

We will keep you informed about the progress of this investigation and other cases threatening the Far Eastern leopard population.

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