Indonesia: Bears handed over to Riau conservation authority

Rizal Harahap The Jakarta Post 27 Feb 18;

Worried about the legal sanctions he might face for keeping a protected species, Adi, 28, a resident of Sungai Buluh village in Bunut district, Pelalawan regency, Riau, handed over a pair of sun bears to the Riau chapter of the Natural Resources Conservation Agency.

Agency spokesperson Dian Indriati said Adi had voluntarily handed over the sun bears that he had kept for three years.

“The agency’s ranger team led by Murmaiddin Putraper fetched the bears in Bunut on Monday evening. The bears are now in Pekanbaru and are undergoing a medical assessment by a medical team,” Dian said on Tuesday.

She said that the two bears, a male and a female, were about 4 years old and in good condition. Information collected by the agency revealed that the bears were found by Adi when he was working on an oil palm plantation in Bunut about three years ago.

“When they were found, the bears were still very young and had been abandoned by their mother. Adi later decided to take care of them until he was made aware that under the prevailing laws, it is prohibited to keep protected wildlife and this might lead to legal sanctions,” said Dian.

Law No.5/1990 on the conservation of biodiversity and its ecosystem stipulates that anyone found guilty of hunting, keeping and trading in wildlife may face a maximum of five years in prison and a maximum fine of Rp 100 million (US$7,310). (ebf)