Malaysia: Protected species sold on Facebook


KOTA BARU: PET sellers in Kelantan have turned to online portals such as Facebook and to sell wild animals, including protected species such as binturong and parrots.

Kelantan Wildlife and National Parks director Mohamad Khairi Ahmad said they stumbled upon the novel way of selling wild animals online when they nabbed a school leaver recently.

He said the youth was nabbed at a shopping complex here after the department found his sales ad selling a baby binturong on Facebook.

The baby binturong was put up for sale at RM5,000.

Binturong (scientific name: Arctictis binturong), also known as bearcat, is a mostly tree-dwelling mammal.

The binturong’s natural habitat is up in the trees of the rainforest canopy.

Binturongs are active during the day and at night, and are omnivorous.

They feed on small mammals, birds, fish, earthworms, insects and fruits. “The department suspects many individuals are using same way to sell pets to earn some pocket money.

Many do not realise that selling protected animals even as pets is an offence under the Wildlife Act.

“The public must apply for a special permit to keep the animals,” he told the New Straits Times.

Khairi said besides binturong, other wild animals which they found being put on sale online included dusky leaf monkey and parrots.

“We believe that many buyers are attracted to these animals because they look cute and easy to play with.”

Khairi urged members of the public to report to the department if they come across any individual selling protected animals online.

“We will not hesitate to take action against those who break the law.”

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