By Tenzin Monlam
DHARAMSHALA, January 16: Tibetans who have been assigned to guard wildlife have nabbed five Chinese poachers in Dzoege County, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture on Jan. 9, according to the Radio Free Asia
The villagers of Dzoege County apprehended the four Chinese poachers at around 2 AM on January 9 near Basu Village in the county with wildlife carcasses. The culprits were immediately handed over to the local authorities.
“The Tibetans confiscated two rifles and a jeep, along with the carcasses of 12 animals the poachers had hunted,” RFA’s source said on condition of anonymity.
The provincial government website of Sichuan Province later confirmed the detentions, adding that the accused poachers are now under investigation by Dzoege County Police.
According to official sources, another incident was reported of wildlife poaching on January 12 near Hetita village in Qinghai’s Tsonub Mongol and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Five Chinese nationals were taken into custody for poaching of snow leopards and other endangered animals.
“The alleged illegal hunt occurred in a Tibetan nature reserve in Qinghai and is thought to have been a part of wider poaching activities in the area beginning in October. The suspects have not admitted guilt in the case but face ongoing investigation by the authorities,” sources said.
The date of detention was not reported but the suspects were found in possession of the carcasses of two snow leopards and several vultures and wild sheep.
According to Global Snow Leopard and Eco-System Protection Program, Tibetan Plateau is home to the world’s largest snow leopard population between 2000–2500.
Snow leopard, which is listed ‘endangered’ in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, attracts poachers because of their fur. Their bones are often used in the traditional Chinese medicines.
The poaching trend continues despite directives from Central government against it. According to experts, “Directives from Beijing urging protection of the vulnerable environment of Tibetan areas are often flouted at the local level by Han Chinese migrants to the region.”