The arrest of the poacher

One December Saturday the inspectors of the Hunting Departments of Khabarovsky region, WWF Russia and WWF-Sweden representatives went to make anti-poaching raid along the Amur tiger pathway.

One of the participants of this inspection, the leader of WWF Russia model projects, Viktor Nikiforov described how they arrested the poacher.

We turned from the highway Khabarovsk-Komsomolsk to the path in the forest and noticed the marks of  a big vehicle or a tractor in the snow. It was evident that somebody was dragging something to the forest. It must be hunters were carrying their equipment or poachers,- we thought.

We had been moving along the  road for almost three hours, when decided that it was high time to turn back, when we discovered a carriage and a very old bulldozer on the unused logging road.

When we approached to the carriage we found only an old watchman inside, who told us that he had not seen anybody. While we were inspecting the area around the carriage, our colleagues, the game keeping expert Yury Kolpak and the WWF Far East coordinator of anti-poaching activity Pavel Fomenko, crossed the stream and continued to go along the road. Pavel Fomenko was the skilled tracker and managed to reveal a suspicious hole in the roadside snowdrift. It looked like as if somebody had concealed a long package there. May be it was a poacher’s barrel?

They decided to go farther and find out what was going on there. In twenty minutes they heard the sounds of shots in taiga. A silhouette of a man dashed among the trees near the road. Yury and Pavel decided  to approach to the man from both sides. In 50 meters Pavel shouted to the stranger: “ Hey! How to go to Beacon village? We’ve got lost!”The stranger straightened up. He had a knife in his hands. He was taken aback by such a “stupid question”. Actually Beacon village was in 50 kilometers from that place. The situation resembled the classic moment from the famous Russian comedy “Y Operation”, when somebody was asked how to find a way to the library at 3 o’clock, at night.

While the hunter was thinking what answer to give, Pavel came nearer and saw the killed wild boar and the gun leaned to the tree. The poacher saw the guys approaching from the both sides and did not know how to react. Pavel continued to ask stupid questions, while he was trying to come nearer. He jumped to the double-barreled gun and broke it in two. It was loaded with a bullet and a buckshot.

It turned out that the stranger was already known Viktor K., whose guns were confiscated earlier several times. The poacher was taken to the car and the guys issued the protocol. The skillful poached looked very astonished at such a sudden appearance of the inspectors. But our Scandinavian friends from WWF-Sweden were amazed much more than the poacher, as they had   never seen anything like that before.

Only the black laika dog was not surprised at all, it was eating the Swedish sausage with great pleasure…”

During just a few days the inspectors “twisted” a quantity of several hundred kilometers along the hard-to-reach  forest roads, inspecting game huts and plots in he forest.