Moufflon poacher caught red handed

A 33-YEAR-OLD poacher who killed and decapitated a moufflon was arrested by officers from the Cyprus Game Fund after they staged a drug-style stakeout.

The wardens spotted the freshly killed decapitated moufflon near the village of Kambos in the Nicosia district.

The wardens then put the area under surveillance and waited for the culprit to return. Four hours later a 33-year-old man appeared. The wardens watched as the man approached the dead animal and saw him load it into his car.

As he was about to drive away they surrounded the man and caught him red-handed.  The man had a special hidden compartment in his truck which he used to store the dead animals.

A spokesman for the game service said: “We then searched the area and found the moufflon’s head, skin and intestines discarded, the moufflon was a male and approximately eight to ten years-old.”

A police spokesman added: “He was escorted to the police station where he admitted his guilt, claiming it was a New Year’s culinary treat for his family. He has been charged and since released. You should also be aware that this offence could carry a maximum of three years imprisonment or a €17,000 fine.”

Moufflon poaching has been on the increase lately with reports saying the dead animals can fetch up to €80 a kilo on the black market.