WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT AHEAD
Cruel poachers have been caught on camera posing with the dead body of a rare clouded leopard after they hunted down the animal in its natural habitat.
The pictures show a group of poachers smiling while posing with the bloodied body of the rare animal somewhere in Tampin, Malaysia.
The disturbing shots were shared on Facebook by a person known as Max Mantra who is believed to be responsible for taking the pictures.
In the photos, different hunters are seen smiling while lifting the dead beast, carrying it on their shoulders, and holding up its head.
The clouded leopard is a rare wild cat native to Southeast Asia. Despite the species being protected for over a decade, poor enforcement of regulations is causing its numbers to diminish. It is estimated that there are less than 10,000 clouded leopards left in the world.
After the photos went viral, Siva Nadarajan suggested that the men wearing blue uniforms are actually the Malaysian Civil Defence Force officers.
While the original uploader deleted his post after receiving a backlash, Siva managed to take a screenshot and further share the photos.
According to the activist, he attempted to get in touch with the Department of Wildlife and National Parks to alert them about the matter after he got sufficient proof.
As it happens, however, he was told that “everyone has gone home” which is why he couldn’t file a complaint. It isn’t clear whether the man tried to call them again or not.
While the clouded leopard remains present in its natural habitats spanning from the Himalayan foothills through Southeast Asia including China, the animal has already been pronounced extinct in Taiwan and Singapore.
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