KUCHING, Sept 25: Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) enforcement team has rescued the sun bear found kept as a pet and locked up in a cage at a residential home in Demak Laut here.
In a media release today, SFC chief executive officer (CEO) Zolkipli Mohamad Aton said they have reacted immediately by sending its Swift Wildlife Action Team to rescue the sun bear following a public tip-off and images of the distress sun bear being viraled in social media.
“The rescued bear was immediately sent to Matang Wildlife Centre for medical examination and rehabilitation eventually.
“An inspection was conducted at the premises even though the owner has permit issued by the Controller of Wild Life of the state Forest Department to keep the animal,” he said.
Zolkipli revealed they found that the owner has violated certain terms and conditions of the licence.
“Licence can be applied but applicants must comply with the licence terms and conditions,” he said.
He warned that sun bear is protected under Sarawak’s Wild Life Protection Ordinance 1998, whereby killing, keeping, selling, buying the animal or its derivatives were prohibited by the law and if found guilty, the perpetrator can be jailed for one year and fined RM10,000.
“Anyone keeping any totally protected or protected animal illegally must surrender it to the authority before action is taken against them,” he advised.
He expressed hope that those keeping protected animals as pet with licence to willingly surrender them to SFC before they become a problem.
The protected wildlife was spotted by a concerned citizen who then posted it on Facebook, which had since been viraled on social media.
According to the post, the bear was seen placed in a steel-bar cage without enrichment of any sorts.
SFC also extended its gratitude to members of the public who have assisted authorities in curtailing illegal wildlife trading, as well as illegal logging in Sarawak.
Those with information on similar illegal activities are urged to call SFC hotlines at 016-8565564/019-8859996 (Kuching), 019-8883561 (Sibu), 019-8223449/019-8332737 (Bintulu) and 019-8290994/018-9799778 (Miri). — DayakDaily