Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Caged sunbear dies

Incompetent Wildlife Officer should be sacked. He has the gut to say "We have been investigating this case for a long time following complaint..."
Why no action? Could it be "Under table and corruption?"

Tuesday April 8, 2008

MIRI: An endangered sunbear locked up for months inside a small iron cage, and used as a showpiece to attract visitors at a private farm along the Miri-Bintulu Second Coastal Highway, has died from neglect.

The sunbear, a protected species, died after its owner had hidden it inside an isolated forest away from public view following complaints from a group of expatriates who were disgusted with the manner the creature was treated.

A worker of the farm, located at Jalan Bakam, next to the National Service Training Camp, confirmed Tuesday that the sunbear recently died.

"The sunbear was taken to an isolated area and was continuously kept inside the cage. It was placed near a forested section of the farm. It died recently inside the cage," said a worker who spoke on condition that his identity was not disclosed.

Miri Wildlife Department enforcement chief Abang Arabi Abang Imran, when asked to comment Tuesday, also confirmed that he had sent his enforcement officers to the site and found that the sunbear was missing and that the owners could not give any satisfactory explanation on what had happened to the animal.

"We will find out what happened to the sunbear. We have been investigating this case for a long time following complaints lodged by foreigners who had visited the farm," he said.
The Star on August 11 last year, highlighted this case after being approached by South African expatriate Tweet Gainsborough whose husband was working for an oil and gas giant here in Miri.

Arabi, when asked Tuesday why it took six months for his department to investigate this case, said, "I had instructed my enforcement people to handle the case immediately after I received the complaints. I must open the case file and find out what had transpired and why the bear was not rescued," he said.

Arabi confirmed that the sunbear is a protected species, and that the private farm did not have any permit to keep the animal.

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