Monday, 21 June 2010

Businessman's Good Turn For Protected Animals

For those who may see this act of kindness as the correct thing to do; IT IS NOT. Buying wildlife from traders creates more trade – seeing this ‘new’ market, the hunters will go out and capture more animals to replace those bought.

It is at least gratifying to see such strong statements by the Sarawak Forestry Corporation.


Businessman's Good Turn For Protected Animals

KUCHING, June 21 (Bernama) -- A Sarawak businessman has done what the wildlife authorities may want everyone to do, or at least try to do.Thomas Ting bought eight protected animals he saw at a longhouse in Bintulu and handed them over to the Sarawak Forestry Corporation office there on Thursday.
The animals were three bearcat, three primates, one Borneon Gibbon and one slow loris."I pity these animals. That's why I decided to buy them, and placed them in temporary cages at home before surrendering them to the relevant authorities who can manage and take care of them. After surrendering these animals, I'm relieved as they are now in good hands."I will continue to cooperate fully with the Sarawak Forestry Corporation pertaining to wildlife protection as I consider it my responsibility," the good samaritan said in a statement released by Sarawak Forestry here Monday.
Meanwhile, Controller of Wildlife Datuk Len Talif Salleh said he was happy that the people were more aware of their responsibility in protecting wildlife in the state."Last week, we received a baby clouded leopard from a responsible citizen in Kuching and in a week's time another samaritan has handed over eight wildlife to us. This is a good sign in public awareness," he told a news conference here.Len Talif, who is also the managing director and chief executive officer of Sarawak Forestry, issued a warning to all illegal wildlife traders."I reiterate my zero-tolerance warning again.
Those who violate the laws will be prosecuted. It's the responsibility of everyone to curb the illegal wildlife trade as it is a leading cause of species extinction," he said.He said that under the Wild Life Protection Ordinance 1998, those who hunt, kill, keep, sell or eat wildlife are liable to a maximum fine of RM50,000 or five years' imprisonment, or both.
Len Talif said the Sarawak Forestry Corporation and Forests Department welcomed any information from the public on illegal wildlife trade and would work with all stakeholders to strive for the survival of these endangered species.He advised the public to report any illegal logging or wildlife trade by calling the hotline numbers 019-885 9996 (Kuching), 019-829 0994 (Miri), 019-826 6096 (Bintulu) and 019-829 0992 (Sibu).