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20,000 Reindeer Killed by Russian Poachers Apparently After Their Tongues

Disturbing images show the scale of slaughter by poachers in the vast Evenkiysky district of Krasnoyarsk region. 

Hunting inspectors believe some 20,000 reindeer were shot at 800 locations over a 1,500 kilometre route checked for evidence of poaching. 

One killing field is some 6 hectare in size.

Inspectors say the poachers - 'well armed and equipped' - were 'cynical' by shooting without proper targeting. 

They found some 300 carcases of deer that had been shot and wounded, and struggled into the forest to die. 

Inspectors of the region's State Hunting Control directorate along with police and employees of the Central Siberian Reserve participated in  raids with the backing of campaigning group WWF.

They warned of a risk of dangerous disease since many reindeer corpses lie unburied.

Pavel Kochkarev, director of the Central Siberian Reserve, said: 'I have the impression that wild reindeer are shot dead for one particular thing.

'Poachers want reindeer tongues.

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