“The gaur (/ˈɡaʊər/, Bos gaurus), also called Indian bison, is the largest extant bovine, native to South Asia and Southeast Asia. The species is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 1986, as the population decline in parts of the species’ range is likely to be well over 70% during the last three generations. Population trends are stable in well-protected areas, and are rebuilding in a few areas which had been neglected.”
Hugh Paxton’s blog got this from Chang who found it in the Khao Yai National Park in Thailand. It was designed and used by a poacher who killed a gaur. It’s a cunning bit of evil. The man, known to Chang, was small and so was his weapon. So small you can slip it into pockets or in this bloke’s case tie it to your ankle and conceal it beneath baggy trousers. Once in the forest you find a bamboo. Cut it, insert it in the hole and you have a halberd or a short arm axe. The method of killing involves bravery, lies, disguise, stealth and nightwork. You sever the tendons of the gaur while it is at rest, then when it is unable to run, you slit its throat. You then fail to notice that the gaur you have just killed is about to kill you because it is tagged by rangers who are armed with more weapons than Rambo. This axe comes to me from a man who was not shot by park rangers – what a nasty but pitiful weapon if faced with ten angry conservationists with AKs. The rangers could have skipped the paperwork and just buried him. The police and judges for once got off their fat arses and the poacher is in jail. In a way the cruel crudity of his weapon saved this poacher’s life. It posed no threat to the arresting officers. Some poachers from over the border come in with machine guns and every ranger knows that this is a fight to the death.
Tourists to Khao Yai love the park. But by and large they have no idea what is going on beyond the mountains and in the deep forests.
Chang is bringing me another weapon on Monday. This was used to kill a bear. I’ll tell you about it when I have seen it properly.
Cheers from Bangkok!