The rangers were slogging their way up the mud-slick mountainside in Thap Lan National Park when a hand signal brought our patrol to a sharp halt. A scout up ahead had found a letter “K” carved into the side of a tree. It was the signature of a timber poacher, rumored to be Cambodian, who had evaded capture for months, taunting them each time he pushed deeper into protected Thai territory.
Captain Morokot and his scout rushed forward hoping to catch the loggers by surprise, only to find a makeshift abandoned camp. Red Bull energy drink cans and cigarette butts littered the ground.
“The poachers have their own lookouts, so it’s getting harder to sneak up on them,” Morokot sighed. “We know