Escaped sun bear shot dead after attack on villager, Sabah rangers to act against rearer
KUALA LUMPUR, May 13 — A sun bear that had been kept in a cage was shot dead by a Sabah village chief in Telupid after it escaped and attacked another man, The Star reported today.
Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga told the newspaper that the man who was attacked survived with injuries but the sun bear — the smallest bear species and totally protected in Malaysia — was killed.
“The village chief had no choice because he was afraid that the animal would attack others,” Tuuga was quoted as saying.
He added that the sun bear had been kept by the victim’s relatives who lived nearby.
“Our officials will be going to the village to get the bear carcass and to apprehend its rearer, as he had no permit to keep the bear,” he was quoted as saying.
He said his department was short staffed and could not head to the village immediately, adding that assistance will be requested from other authorities.
In Malaysia, sun bears are listed as endangered and totally protected under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010, making it an offence to simply possess any specimen of the species, whether alive or dead.
Those found guilty can be punished under Section 69(1) of the Act for hunting, with up to 10 years imprisonment or a maximum fine of RM200,000, or both.
Section 86(1)(c) of the same Act punishes those convicted of cruelty with up to one year in jail or a fine between RM5,000 and RM50,000, or both.