KUCHING: A man in Long Lama, Miri wasted no time in calling the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) when he found out that the young male sun bear, entrusted to him by a friend three months ago, could land him in serious trouble with the law.
In a statement yesterday, SFC explained that when the man realised he was in illegal possession of a protected animal, he immediately called the SFC Miri office stating that he wanted to surrender the sun bear to SFC out of concern for the animal’s wellbeing.
SFC Miri’s Swift Wildlife Action Team (SWAT) was then dispatched to ‘rescue’ the sun bear from Long Lama where it was later brought to the Matang Wildlife Centre here for medical examination and eventual rehabilitation.
The species is protected under Sarawak’s Wildlife Protection Ordinance, 1998, whereby killing, keeping, selling, buying the animal or its derivatives are prohibited by law and if found guilty, the perpetrator could be jailed up to one year and fined RM10,000.
In view of this, SFC reminded those in possession of protected animals such as ‘sun bear’ should surrender them to SFC before action is taken against them.
SFC also extended its gratitude to members of the public who assisted the authorities in curtailing illegal wildlife trading as well as illegal logging in Sarawak. Those with information on similar illegal activities are urged to call SFC hotlines at 013-5722800 (Kuching), 019-4827377 (Miri), 019-8195949 (Bintulu), and 013-8035758 (Sibu).