Malaysia: Black day for animal lovers in Malaysia

mei mei chu The Star 25 Dec 17;

PETALING JAYA: Christmas Eve was a black day for Malaysian wildlife as three separate cases involving the gruesome deaths of two endangered sun bears and a tapir went viral on social media.

In Kuching, a villager shopping at a local market got a rude shock when she saw a sun bear slaughtered into pieces and sold openly as exotic meat.

In the photo taken at the Lubok Antu 'pasar tamu' in Sri Aman Division, the adult male sun bear was butchered into over 15 pieces and placed on a table next to a weighing machine.

The head was decapitated below the chin while the arms were cut off at the forearm to keep the paws intact.

"It is really shocking to see the whole bear cut into pieces," Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) founder Wong Siew Te told The Star.

"In the same market, a wild boar and sambar deer were being sold as well," he said, adding that the villager alerted him of the incident and sent him the photos.

According to Wong, poaching is rife but it is uncommon to see sun bears being sold openly in the local markets.

"For us, the festive seasons mean happiness and fun with family but for the many unfortunate wildlife, it means the end of their life when the demand for exotic meat soars," he said.

Sun bears are a protected species under the Sarawak Wild Life Protection Ordinance 1998 and those found guilty of hunting and selling the wildlife could face a RM10,000 fine or one year imprisonment.

Wong said the population of sun bears is unknown but conservationists are certain that it is declining due to rapid deforestation and rampant poaching.

He urged the Forestry Department to enforce the wildlife protection law and prosecute those involved in the illegal exotic meat trade.

"If we don't do anything effective soon it will be too late to do anything, just like the rhinos here," he said, adding that the extinction of sun bears will hurt the forest ecosystem.

In Terengganu, a sun bear was killed after a motorbike crashed into it near the Kuala Dungun exit on the East Coast Expressway 2 (LPT 2) at 6.50pm on Sunday (Dec 24).

The motorcyclist was en route from Kuantan to Terengganu when the sun bear suddenly crossed the road.

In Gua Musang, Kelantan a 100kg tapir was killed in a car accident involving a Proton Saga at KM12 at Jalan Gua Musang-Kuala Krai.

The accident happened at 4am on Dec 24 but a group of men who found the tapir carcass the next day skinned the animal and cut off its snout.

Netizens have expressed shock and disgust of photos of the men skinning the wildlife, calling their actions cruel.


Sun bear killed in collision with motorcycle on LPT2
Zarina Abdullah New Straits Times 25 Dec 17;

DUNGUN: An adult sun bear was struck and killed by a motorcycle at Km347.5 of the East Coast Expressway 2 (LPT2) near the Kuala Dungun interchange here last night.

The incident is believed to have occurred at about 7pm when the animal, known scientifically as Helarctos malayanus, was trying to cross the road.

It was hit by a Yamaha 125z, whose rider was heading towards Kuala Terengganu.

The rider suffered light injuries.

State Wildlife and National Park Department director Rahmah Elias said they received a call about the incident at about 7.18pm.

She said the motorcyclist was sent to the Dungun Hospital for further treatment, while the sun bear’s carcass was handed over to the Wildlife Department for further action.

Rahmah has advised LPT 2 road users to be cautious while driving along the highway especially at night, as it is common for wild animals to wander onto the road.

“Watch out for animals such as deer, tapirs, wild boars, sun bears as well as goats, cows and buffalo which roam the area, especially near the Kuala Dungun exit,” she said when contacted today.


WWF: Gruesome deaths show Malaysia has failed its wildlife
mei mei chu The Star 28 Dec 17;

PETALING JAYA: The gruesome deaths of three animal on the endangered list on Christmas Eve show that Malaysia has failed to protect its wildlife, said WWF-Malaysia.

“Despite all efforts from various organisations and government bodies, yet again, we as a nation, have failed to stand up for our wildlife,” its chief executive officer Datuk Dr Dionysius Sharma said in a statement Thursday.

On Dec 24, a sun bear was found butchered and sold openly at a market in Kuching, while another sun bear was killed in a motorbike accident in Terengganu, and in Kelantan, a group of men was photographed skinning and disfiguring a tapir that was involved in a roadkill incident.

Condemning the exotic meat trade, Dr Dionysius urged the public to step away from consuming wild meat, especially during festive celebrations.
image: https://video.unrulymedia.com/native/in-art-close-icon-128x128.png

He also emphasised the need for Malaysian drivers to be more vigilant when driving in areas that are prone to wildlife crossings.

“If we do not take drastic measures to protect our wildlife now, we may lose them to extinction in the near future,” said Dr Dionysius.

Besides sun bears and tapirs, elephants, leopards, and other endangered species were reportedly killed in highway accidents this year.

As forests become more fragmented due to infrastructure development, conservationists say one of the greatest threats to wildlife are vehicles on high-speed motorways.

Throughout the year, they have been calling on the authorities to control vehicle density and enforce speed limits on highways, and increase the number of animal crossings to reduce roadkill.


Spate of rare animal deaths in Malaysia sparks alarm
AFP Yahoo News 28 Dec 17;

Kuala Lumpur (AFP) - The deaths of two sun bears and a tapir in Malaysia sparked fresh alarm among activists Thursday at the growing number of exotic animals perishing in the biodiverse country.

A sun bear and tapir were killed in road accidents in the northeast of the country on Christmas Eve, with the tapir skinned by villagers after its carcass was discovered, environmental group WWF said.

A second sun bear was killed and cut up, with its parts spotted on the same day sold openly at a market in Sarawak state on Borneo island, local media reported.

"Despite all efforts from various organisations and government bodies, yet again, we as a nation, have failed to stand up for our Malaysian wildlife," said Dionysius Sharma, WWF-Malaysia executive director.

"If we do not take drastic measures to protect our wildlife now, we may lose them to extinction in the near future."

Tropical, jungle-clad Malaysia is home to a dizzying array of wildlife, from orangutans to pangolins, but their numbers have been dwindling.

They are targeted by poachers, their natural habitat has been shrinking due to expansion of plantations, while hundreds have been killed on busy roads as the highway network has rapidly expanded.

Two elephants were killed in the space of three months earlier this year after being hit by vehicles on the same stretch of highway in northern Malaysia.

Sun bears are the smallest of the bear species, and are classified as vulnerable by protection group the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Tapirs are known for their long, drooping noses which they use to forage for leaves, with the variety in Malaysia listed as endangered.

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