Right after snowfall on March 6 the Border team of Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve nabbed a suspected poacher.
The team was on a regular foot patrol along the borders of Leopardovy Wildlife Refuge near Ovchinnikovo village when the team members found human footprints and dog tracks. It was decided to chase the trespassers. After an hour-and-a-half pursuit the inspectors finally saw two men with six dogs. When the team members made an attempt to arrest the violators, the hunters put up a resistance. They refused to show their ID and took to their heels. One of the poachers managed to escape, but his accomplice was arrested and took to the police office where a criminal proceeding was initiated.
“The dogs attacked one of our team members durign the arrest”, says inspector Sergei Naimushin, “and he had to shoot three of them to death in self-defense. Personal belongings of poachers – two smoothbore guns, a knife and a backpack – were handed over to the police as direct evidence of a crime committed in the protected area”.
The Phoenix Fund together with other environmental NGOs has been supporting anti-poaching activities in Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve for many years with the aim of conserving critically endangered Amur leopards living there.
“Nowadays high-tech equipment and the latest technology is used in the fight against poachers”, says Sergei Bereznuk, Director of the Phoenix Fund. “Besides covering field expenditures and supplying fuel to environmental law enforcement staff which is essential to conduct patrols on a regular basis, it is also necessary to provide the anti-poaching teams with state-of–art equipment. The Phoenix Fund is doing utmost to both support anti-poaching work and improve law enforcement efforts. We hope that quad bikes, GPS units and other recently purchased equipment will let the teams to make a significant breakthrough in the fight against poachers”.
Financial support for anti-poaching efforts in Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve and Leopardovy Wildlife Refuge has been kindly provided by the BBC Wildlife Fund, US Fish and Wildlife Service, IFAW, Whitley Fund for Nature and other organisations as well we individuals deeply concerned about the current state of Amur tiger and leopard populations.