Tuesday, March 19

Strange creature captured at last


SFC Sibu team who came to collect the animal yesterday.

A closer view of the sun bear.

BINTANGOR: The strange creature or the sick sun bear sighted in an oil palm plantation here about two months ago was finally found yesterday.

According to the plantation manager who requested anonymity, the animal was found by plantation workers about 7am within the same area where it was spotted on Jan 30 this year.

“The workers were on their way to work when they saw the animal.

“They caught and brought it to the plantation office. We’ve informed the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC),” he said when met yesterday.

The animal was first sighted by four Indonesian workers who were about to finish work at about 1pm on Jan 30 in the plantation.

One of the workers, Herman Tutu, said they were shocked by the sight of the hairless creature.

He said he quickly grabbed a tree branch for protection when the animal charged at them.

“Initially, we thought it was a dog or monkey.

“When we got nearer to check, we were shocked because none of us had ever seen such a creature.

“I poked it using the branch to force it back into the forest when it charged at us. The animal then bit the branch and we could only watch as it ripped the tree branch off,” Herman recalled.

SFC had launched a search and rescue (SAR) operation to find the sick bear as soon as they received report on the matter.

Sibu SFC representative who went to get the bear yesterday said it would be brought to Matang Wildlife Centre in Kuching.

“We will try to find out why it appeared very sick and hairless,” he said, adding that SFC appreciated the help of the plantation workers.

He later advised members of the public with any information on or had witnessed acts against protected wildlife to report to SFC immediately.

State Wildlife Protection Ordinance provides maximum fine of RM10,000 and/or a year in jail if an offender is found hunting, killing, harbouring, selling or eating protected animals without permit, he said.

Related news: Months-long search for hairless ‘sun bear’ over