Zolkipli Mohamad Aton
KUCHING, Sept 25 -- In just less than 24 hours, the concern voiced by the public had managed to put pressure, forcing the authority to make a move to rescue a sun bear, allegedly locked-up under cruel condition at a house in Demak Laut here.
The protected species, claimed to have been kept by a licensed owner for seven years, has been sent to the Matang Wildlife Centre here for medical examination and rehabilitation.
Sarawak Forestry Corporation Sdn Bhd (SFCSB) chief executive officer Zolkipli Mohamad Aton said the operation was carried out around 2.30 pm today at the premises following public tip-off.
“Although the owner has a licence issued by the Controller of Wild Life, Forest Department Sarawak to keep the sun bear, the owner has violated certain terms and conditions of the licence.
“That’s why we have to ‘rescue’ the bear,” he told Bernama, adding that the bear is a 76 kilogramme male.
In Sarawak, the sun bear or its scientific name Helarctos malayanus is protected under the Wild Life Protection Ordinance 1998. Those found guilty of hunting or possessing the protected animals whether dead or alive or possessing just their parts without a licence could be fined RM10,000 and one year imprisonment.
The story of the poor sun bear was first posted by a netizen on Facebook, last Sunday, before being picked up and published by the media yesterday.
This would be the second case this year, after the first, in Kuala Lumpur, where a sun bear cub was found locked up in a condominium last June.
Asked on the action that would be taken to the owner, Zolkipli said this was up to the Forest Department Sarawak which was responsible for license issuance.
“SFC is more on operation,” he added.