Real detective story in Bali National Park: shots, chase, dozens of corpses, and fleeing offenders. Police called it a "wild hunt."
Suspecting something terrible happening in the national park, the reserve staff began during the evening patrol. They thought they heard sounds resembling gunshots, although initially, they found no confirmation. However, after a few hours, when the main park entrances were already closed, at one of the park's checkpoints, conservation officers noticed a car whose driver seemed to be trying to escape from the park's territory. When the suspicious Toyota braked, the patrols decided to check the car. But they couldn't. The driver made a sharp maneuver, turned around, and sped back. It was time for a chase. However, the local police only had bicycles. Nevertheless, they decided it was worth a try, hopped on the eco-friendly transport, and started the pursuit. Their efforts paid off—the car was found in the middle of the forest. However, the driver and his passenger were no longer in it. The police continued the chase. They searched the area around the car, tried to find traces of the fleeing men, but they vanished without a trace—apparently, they hid well in the forest.
When the police returned to the abandoned car in the middle of the forest and searched it, they found 15 dead animals inside: 11 antelopes, 3 wild boars, and 1 deer. All of them had been shot. Later, during the examination, it was revealed that these were adult specimens aged 4 to 5 years. Yes, these are the same animals that the reserve staff had recently been trying hard to save from thirst—the local animals and birds were suffering due to prolonged drought.
But that's not all the conservation officers managed to discover. The suspected poachers were in such a hurry that they left a mobile phone, identity cards, and vehicle documents in the car. Moreover, a bullet was later found in the body of one of the antelopes, indicating the cause of its death.
Currently, all the findings, including the documents presumably belonging to the culprits, have been handed over to the police. The park representatives, in turn, admitted partial responsibility for what happened. Not all entrances to the national park are closed and guarded. There are loopholes that, of course, poachers are aware of. Apparently, two of the yet uncaught men took advantage of one of them.
To prevent the hunting of rare and protected animals, the park management divided the entire area into 6 zones, each assigned 6 employees who ensure round-the-clock security. However, they have to control an area of up to 3000 hectares, leaving some parts unattended.
Completely eradicating poaching in the country is challenging, partly due to lenient penalties. Law enforcement relies on the Nature Conservation Law issued 30 years ago, resulting in relatively mild sanctions. Poachers rarely go to prison, mostly receiving fines.
The identities of the fleeing men have been established. Preliminary information suggests that they engaged in illegal hunting to procure meat, some of which they intended to resell. Additionally, antelope horns might have been of interest to the poachers.