Malaysia: Sabah wildlife rescuers save injured sun bear

MUGUNTAN VANAR The Star 29 Mar 17;

KOTA KINABALU: Wildlife rangers helped save a sun bear that was injured by a poacher's snare within the fully protected Maliau Basin forest conservation area.

The rangers were alerted by conservation officers, who spotted the injured bear roaming around the Maliau Basin Studies Centre on March 25.

The Sabah Wildlife Department rescue unit’s quick response team and Maliau Basin officers rushed to the area and launched a search through the night before spotting the bear within the forest area.

They managed to tranquilise the injured sun bear.

Rescue unit acting manager Dr Diana Ramirez said Wednesday that the sun bear was found to have a severely infected injury on its back, most probably caused by a sharp pointed object, likely to be a spear (known locally as bujak), and a deep wound from a snare trap with the nylon rope still strangulating its right forelimb.

She said the animal has been brought to the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park near Kota Kinabalu where it is being treated.

Borneo Sun Bear Conservation director Wong Siew Ti expressed concern over the poaching of animals within the world-renowned Maliau Basin.

“Poaching poses a threat not only to sun bears but other endangered wildlife. We have to improve our security in such areas because such snares will eventually wipe out the many protected species in our forests,” he said.

He said the snare traps could have been set for smaller animals, including wild boar, but many other animals including elephants could be injured, sometimes seriously.

Department assistant director Dr Sen Nathan said it is important for all to join forces to increase enforcement in Sabah’s forests to reduce poaching in protected areas.

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