Malaysia: Sabah Wildlife department probing deaths of sun bear and turtles

RUBEN SARIO The Star 20 Jan 16;

KOTA KINABALU: A probe is underway to find those responsible for the killings of a Bornean sun bear and six turtles in separate incidents at Sabah’s east coast over the past week.

Sabah Wildlife Department director William Baya said they had begun their investigations immediately after the discovery of the carcasses of these protected animals.

“We have not identified any suspects for now,” he told The Star on Wednesday.

On Jan 18, two Swedish tourists made a gruesome discovery of the carcass of a sun bear cut in half in the Sungai Kinabatangan.

The tourists - Tommy Eriksson and his wife Teuta Hajra - took photos of the slaughtered animal with both its hind paws missing floating in the river near Kampung Sukau, adjacent to a plantation.

Earlier on Jan 16, visitors to Semporna spotted the decomposing carcasses of six turtles in waters off several islands in Semporna.

Wildlife conservationists believe that the turtles could have been killed by fishermen who discovered the marine creatures caught in their nets.

There was also a possibility that the turtles could have been slaughtered by those seaweed farmers after catching the animals feeding on their produce.