Soldiers accused of poaching protected wildlife in Royal Belum, and elsewhere
March 20, 2011 By Bella
Perak’s Royal Belum rainforest in the northern part of Malaysia is an area that is supposed to be totally protected as lying in the frontier areas bordering Thailand; smuggling and poaching activities would be rampant if there was no security. Tourist cannot go there without a permit and the Malaysian Army, especially its soldiers from the Territorial Army, Ranger, and Malay regiments in Perak, has been entrusted to patrol and protect the verdant forest area where rare and endangered animals are said to thrive under the soldier’s guard. Or so it seems.
As it has always been a well-known fact to the general public who have family, relatives, or close friends in the Army, that many of these soldiers are no forest guardian angels, but are actually involved in a great deal of poaching and destructive activities themselves.
However, the saying goes that everything is a rumour unless there is “black and white” proof. So we have for you today, a photo posted on the Facebook profile of a Malaysian soldier who proudly (shamelessly) poses with his fellow soldier friends, with a Rhinoceros Hornbill which looks like it has just been slaughtered. How disgusting!
The guess is that they could have killed it for food. Food that they can very well do without as those who know will attest that the Malaysian Army feeds its soldiers very well. The photo is said to have been taken in Belum. Even if it was not Belum, the Rhinoceros Hornbill wherever in Malaysia for the matter, is a protected species which is already classified as threatened. The Facebook page where the photo was displayed for the world to see, was copied and sent to Peraknews.com by a contact who is involved in various conservation activities in Malaysia including active involvement in Malaysian Nature Society Perak, and WWF.
The source who seeks anonymity for cited reasons, says the photo is just one prove and the tip of the iceberg for the unaccounted atrocities that the so called guardians have unleashed on the helpless animals. “Here we are thinking that Malaysian tigers and rhinos which are on the brink of extinction, are very safe and happy in Belum under Army protection,” he adds.
And now that leads one to wonder who the real poachers are, especially in an area where intruders can be shot on sight. Are outside poachers so daring enough to move in and out of Belum with a dead tiger or two, saddled on their back?A lot of bickering, finger pointing, denial, and even alteration of facts can be expected after this exposure, but the right thing for the Army to do is to come clean by taking the right action, which is to stop its idle soldiers from participating in destructive activities that are not only detrimental to the surroundings, but also to themselves. Source here