Friday, March 05, 2010

Ruler bans hunting of wildlife

Friday March 5, 2010

JOHOR BARU: There will be no more hunting in the state, Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almar­hum Sultan Iskandar decreed.

He said the ban was necessary to protect the wildlife especially protected species from decreasing or going extinct. Sultan Ibrahim said that besides tigers, the ban includes bears, deer, mousedeer, tapir and porcupines.

“The poaching of these animals are so cruel. Eating one tiger claw will not make you have tiger strength for months,” he said referring to beliefs that consuming certain animal parts would help boost virility.

He stressed that if wild animals were causing a nuisance to people or farmers, they should inform the Johor Wildlife Department (Perhilitan).

“We can organise shooters for wild boars or crows,” he said, adding that a meeting would be held with Perhitilitan to enforce the ruling immediately.

“I want to protect the wildlife in Johor and those caught poaching should be jailed,” he told The Star in an exclusive interview at his Istana Pasir Pelangi here yesterday.

Sultan Ibrahim said he was breeding several animals like tigers, panthers and deers with the intention of releasing them into the jungle.

Sultan Ibrahim has 400 deer, 12 Siberian, Indian and Bengal tigers as well as panthers.

He also has six tiger cubs as a result of his breeding programme.

“I am trying to protect wildlife here including starting a rehabilitation centre for deer in central Johor,” he said, adding that he also hoped to work with the World Wildlife Foundation.

Sultan Ibrahim said he had informers who would report to him if people continued hunting.

He also wanted the procedures for the issuance of gun licences in the state to be tightened.

He warned those who misused their gun licences that he would not hesitate to get the authorities to revoke their licences and seize their guns.

“The police must assist and conduct roadblocks in places known to be famous for hunting to ensure no one flouts the law,” he added.

Friday March 5, 2010
Private zoo implicated in smuggling of orangutan

PETALING JAYA: Besides keeping animals illegally, the controversial zoo in a southern state was also implicated in the smuggling of the critically endangered orangutan.

It was one of the private facilities in the country that is known to have acquired smuggled orangutan in recent years where the animals were confiscated and repatriated by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan).

This was confirmed by Perhilitan, thus contradicting the assertion of the zoo that the department took away a pair of its orangutan for breeding in Indonesia a year ago.

It is unclear if the zoo was penalised for the offence but it appeared that its special permit for orangutan was never revoked.

Instead, its orangutan collection was replaced; a six-year-old female was delivered in June last year followed by a 15-year-old male in December.

Perhilitan deputy director-general Misliah Mohamad Basir said the replacements were from the Bukit Merah Lake Town Resort as part of the department’s breeding loan programme, adding that it is an effort to promote eco-tourism in Johor.

In 2006, Malaysia repatriated seven Sumatran orangutan that were removed from a resort in Malacca and one from the Johor zoo following a nationwide DNA finger-printing exercise that revealed that 12 out of 58 orangutan held at seven facilities were Sumatran and the remaining 46 were Borneans.

However, in Perhilitan’s communication in 2005 with British-based NatureAlert that had taken an interest in the smuggled orangutan scandal, it was revealed that seven Borneans belonging to the Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii supspecies (found in Sarawak and western Kalimantan) would be repatriated.

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