Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thai villagers told to call off tiger hunt

Locals say big cat ate their buffalo, cattle

By Subin Kheunkaew

The chief of Sri Lanna National Park yesterday told troubled Chiang Dao villagers to stop hunting a tiger they believe has eaten their buffalo and cattle. "Tiger hunting is against the law. The villagers were advised to raise their cattle well away from the park for safety reasons," said park head Amporn Panmongkol.

The park covers 800,000 rai of mostly mountainous terrain. Located 40km north of Muang district, it spreads across three districts _ Phrao, Chiang Dao and Mae Taeng.

Inkaew Sompan, kamnan of tambon Lhongkod, said villagers were petrified after a search for a lost 300kg buffalo, left grazing near the park, turned up nothing but a carcass on Nov 2.

"After hiding in a bush with another cow left as bait in the same spot, villagers spotted a two-metre-long tiger," he said. The site was only 1km from their village.

At the end of their rope after losing four buffalo and five cattle in less than a month, troubled villagers formed a hunting party, but it returned empty-handed, Mr Inkaew said.

"Three cows were recently gorged in one day with their carcasses left behind as usual," he said.

"I feared for our safety so we went to seek help from park officials."

Mr Amporn said the kamnan did the right thing by approaching him because their hunting expeditions could have taken a deadly turn.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/News/26Nov2006_news10.php

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