KOTA KINABALU: The World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-Malaysia said over-hunting, illegal wildlife hunting, and trade in wildlife meat and parts had contributed to the decreasing number of wild animals in Sabah’s forests.
WWF-Sabah head of conservation Bernard Tai said thousands, if not more, were being slaughtered by illegal hunters every year for their own reckless consumption, for illegal wildlife trade, and even sports hunting.
He said traps laid by poachers were illegal and not only did they cause long and excruciatingly painful deaths, they sometimes trapped other wild animals not targeted by these poachers by mistake.
“In some cases, these heartless hunters even used explosives to kill our wildlife,” said Tai in a statement yesterday.
According to him, a survey conducted by WWF-Malaysia in Sabah last year showed that 56 percent of the people interviewed consumed wild meat while 14 percent admitted they bought wildlife products.
“Wild animals that were most widely reported as eaten by the interviewees were turtle eggs, bearded pig and sambar deer.
“Elephants, pangolin, snakes, crocodiles, monitor lizards, monkeys, civets, and barking deers were also consumed by them.
“This was despite the fact that turtles and elephants are totally protected species and no killing, consumption or sale is allowed in Sabah. This Christmas, let us all be good stewards of God’s creation.
“Let us spread the message against poaching and other cruel acts committed against animals,” Tai added.