The Valais is a canton in the southwest of Switzerland.
In terms of area, the Valais is the third largest canton in Switzerland and lies entirely within the Alps.
There are practically no lynxes in the south of Valais. Although the living conditions are ideal, last year not a single animal fell into one of the more than 130 photo traps set up by the Kora Foundation.
The suspicion: poachers kill the protected animals as soon as they enter the mountain canton. Five years ago, researchers at the University of Bern discovered a total of 17 snare traps that had been set up on the border with Vaud.
Three Valais rangers are accused of illegally hunting lynxes and wolves.
This puts the cantonal authorities in a dubious light shortly before the vote on the new hunting law in Switzerland.
Even then, the researchers were wondering whether the Valais authorities are adequately combating poaching – or whether the canton is even holding its protective hand over the poachers.
This now seems to be confirmed: BLICK Magazin has spoken to several witnesses who report exactly that.
According to their report, the problem is far more serious.
They claim: several game rangers – state employees – have illegally hunted lynxes and wolves themselves!
A total of five people were willing to give BLICK Magazin information personally. They accuse an active and two former Wallis rangers of poaching.
In particular, game warden Pierre D. *, who is still on duty, is not a blank slate.
Several criminal proceedings are currently ongoing against the Valaisan. He is accused of having two eagles imprisoned at his home and illegally shooting a deer in a no-hunting area while on a trophy hunt.
“A good lynx is a dead lynx” – this motto is said to have prevailed for a long time in the cantonal office for hunting, fishing and wild animals.
Now the air is getting even thinner for Pierre D.
BLICK has a photo in which he is holding a dead lynx in his hands – and grinning broadly into the camera. The authorities assume that the lynx got caught in a fence in an attack on sheep and was killed in the process. The gamekeeper does not seem to be saddened by the animal’s death.
The accusation of poaching against D. weighs heavily: For example, a hunter who, for fear of revenge on the part of the authorities, does not want to be named by name, says D. asked him several times directly to shoot lynxes. “He said it was our job to destroy the predators in Valais.”
In addition, the gamekeeper organized a real wolf hunt ten years ago: “When he found out that a wolf was roaming the Alps, he immediately alerted us and instructed us to shoot the animal,” says the hunter.
Later, D. appeared armed on the alp himself. “I was completely stunned”
Game rangers are usually responsible for protecting wild animals. They count the stocks and shoot sick and injured animals. Also protected, but only after an official decision of the canton in accordance with the Hunting Act Ordinance.
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