Vietnamese log poacher shot dead in clash with forestry rangers

One Vietnamese log poacher was shot dead and one forestry ranger was injured in a gunfight at Mae Wong national park in Nakhon Sawan province yesterday.

The rangers were on a patrol in the national park when they encountered a group of log poachers illegally entering the park to cut the protected eaglewood at about 2.00pm.

A brief gunfight broke out, and one ranger from Huey Kha Kheng wildlife sanctuary identified later as Suthirat Butpet, 49, was shot on the left shoulder.

One poacher was also found lying dead. He was later identified as a Vietnamese. Three others managed to escape but forestry rangers and soldiers were hunting for them.

Forestry rangers believed the poachers were led to the park area by local people to cut eaglewood which is fragrant dark resinous wood used in incense and perfume.

Authorities entered the park today to bring the dead body for autopsy.