Monday, May 27

Dept still probing death of sun bear

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KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) is still investigating the case of the dead adult sun bear that was found floating in the Kinabatangan River on January 16 by a Swedish couple.

“We are currently investigating the case with the assistance of the police. No clue as yet to any suspect,” said SWD director William Baya when contacted yesterday.

It was reported that the Swedish couple, Tommy Eriksson and his wife, Teuta Hajra, captured photographs of the bear about 6pm on Jan 16 and shared the images with Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre chief executive officer Wong Siew Te.

The lower part of a sun bear that was cut into half with both the hind paws missing and seen floating downstream at Kampung Sukau, close to an agriculture estate.

The sun bear’s carcass has been sent to the Sabah Wildlife Department for investigation.

Wong was reported as saying that the bear was killed in cold blood and tthe act was an illegal one that should be stopped immediately.

“The sun bear population is already seriously threatened by the loss of the rainforest, and they have lost their habitat due to agricultural development.

“The remaining population is very fragile and faces extinction. Sun bears play many important roles in maintaining a healthy forest ecosystem,” Wong said.

The number of sun bears in Sabah’s wild is unknown.