Indonesia: Three in Police Custody After Posting Photos of Sun Bear Slaying on Facebook

28th September 2015;

Police in East Kalimantan have arrested three men who recently sparked a firestorm on social media for posting photos of themselves on Facebook killing and skinning a Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus).

Ronal Cristoper, Martinus Belawang and Markus Lawai were arrested on Sunday in their hometown of Tabang, Kutai Kertanegara district and are still in police custody, East Kalimantan Police chief Insp. Gen. Safaruddin told

“We are still looking for physical evidence [the Sun Bear’s remains], which was tossed in the forest. But [the suspects] cannot say they didn’t [kill the protected animal] because they uploaded photos [of the slaying] on their Facebook page,” he said.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists Sun Bears as “vulnerable” due to rapid loss of habitat. Indonesia placed the species on its protected list in 1999, which means the three men face a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of Rp 100 million ($6,840) if found guilty of killing the animal.

Local environmental organization Scorpion Wildlife Trade Monitoring Group were among the first to file a police complaint just hours after Ronal uploaded the photos to his Facebook account late on Thursday.

“Law enforcers must take firm actions against those found to have harmed or killed a protected wildlife species,” the group’s senior investigator, Marison Guciano, told news portal.

Kutai Kertanegara district police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Handoko said the three work as mining equipment operators who would often venture into the forest areas around their mining site looking for food.

“The Sun Bear, they say, was already dead after falling into a trap for Wild Boar (Sus spp.). But the trap was not theirs and they chose to skin the bear [for its hide and meat],” Handoko said as quoted by Tribun Kaltim newspaper.

Source: Jakarta Globe

Indonesia: Three in Police Custody After Posting Photos of Sun Bear Slaying on Facebook

Indonesia: Police Found Sun Bear Meat Cooked by the Killers
28th September 2015;

Three alleged killers of a Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus), whose photo was uploaded on Facebook by a user named Ronal Cristoper, were arrested by Kutai Kartanegara (Kukar) Police Department on 25 September 2015. At first, they denied the suspicion. Ronal Christoper, Martinus Belawing, and Markus Lawai said that they did not kill the Sun Bear; they found it already dead from a boar snare.

They did admit that they disemboweled the Sun Bear and took its meat to be cooked. These residents of Tabang district, Kukar, also admitted that they uploaded the photo on Facebook using Ronal Cristoper’s account.

“They can disclaim it all they want, but the fact that they captioned the photo ’tangkapan hari ini’ (‘today’s catch’) says it all,” stated Bayu Sandi, the Coordinator of PROFAUNA Borneo.

A few hours after Ronal posted the photo, he uploaded another photo of his ‘prey’, a kind of deer which is also a protected species. It is almost impossible for them to escape legal punishment because police investigators found leftovers of Sun Bear meat cooked at Markus Lawai’s house.

Law no.5 of 1990 concerning the Conservation of Living Natural Resource and Its Ecosystem mentions that it is strongly forbidden for anyone to kill or keep/possess protected wildlife species aither dead or alive, including their body parts.

“Although they would not admit killing the Sun Bear, they can still be charged for having Sun Bear body parts and eating the meat,” explained Bayu Sandi, who has been putting much attention to this case.

The quick response of Kukar PD in finding the sunbear killers was higly appreciated by the public. The positive acknowledgement was shown in the hundreds of comments in PROFAUNA’s Facebook page, under a post about the arrest of the killers.

“PROFAUNA and the public thank and appreciate the police’s excellent work in enforcing the law to protect the wildlife,” said Rosek Nursahid, the founder of PROFAUNA.

Source: ProFauna

The second photo (published by Sebatas Berita) appears to depict a Sambar (Rusa unicolor) and Greater Mousedeer (Tragulus napu).

Indonesia: Three Alleged Sun Bear Killers Arrested!
28th September 2015;

Three alleged Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus) killers were seized in Tabang district, Kutai Kartanegara (25/9). The three suspected men, one named Ronal Cristofer, were brought in for questioning by Kukar Police Department.

“They were detained in Tabang, 12 hours drive from Tenggarong,” said Lt. Handoko, the Chief of Kukar PD, on Saturday (26/9). “They arrived at the station at 17.00. All three of them are currently under investigation.”

A few days ago, the people of Kukar were bewildered by a horrific photo of a Sun Bear being disemboweled by three men. The photo was posted on Facebook by a user named Ronal Cristoper Ronal. He was one of the men in the photo, and on his profile he wrote that he works for the Population and Civil Registration Office of Tenggarong. However, it turned out that it was a scam.

The head of Information and Publication of the office, Hasis Husain, confirmed that there has never been any employee named Ronal Cristofer.

“I checked the employee database, and I did not find any Ronal there,” said him. He also tried to check with the other offices in the region, but still could not find any employee under that name.

Kukar PD formed a special team right away, to find the identity of the three men. Handoko assured that the police will do their best to get the Sun Bear killers into custody.

PROFAUNA Indonesia highly appreciates Kukar PD’s rapid response in solving this case, and also the active participation of everyone who helped in spreading the news and reporting information related to this case.

Source: ProFauna

Cinnamon Bittern (Ixobrychus cinnamomeus)
Neo Tiew Crescent, 20th January 2015

This Cinnamon Bittern had most probably been hit and killed by a passing vehicle.

Thailand: Phang Nga fishermen assist weak Dolphin found in small cove near Khao Lak
By Eakkapop Thongtub, 27th September 2015;

Rescue workers at 10.30pm on Friday (September 25) were alerted by local fishermen concerned about a weak Dolphin they found struggling to swim in a shallow cove near the Khao Pakarung Cape in Ta Kua Pa district’s Kuek Kak locale.

The Dolphin, which was swimming on its side back and forth in the shallow bay, appeared to have skin abrasions all throughout its body, but was not bleeding, Mr Surachai said.

Mr Surachai telephoned the Andaman Marine Resources Research and Development Centre office in Phuket, and spoke with veternarian, Dr Rachawadee Chanthara, who advised rescuers on aiding the Dolphin until experts from the centre could be dispatched.

Dr Ratchawadee advised against transferring the Dolphin to another area as it was feared that such a move would be too tramuatic for the Dolphin, reported to be in a very weak state.

She further advised for all unnecessary personnel to distance themselves from the Dolphin and for only two rescue volunteers to help prop up the Dolphin on either side, being careful not to accidentially grab or touch its sexual organ, while preventing water/sand from entering the mammal’s orfices.

However, it soon became clear that the water was getting more shallow by the minute, so the volunteers decided to move the Dolphin to the other side of the cove, where the assistants said the Dolphin was finally able to swim on its own, disappearing under the water and swimming away from them.

To be sure the Dolphin didn’t just swim back to shore, the men surveyed the area for a distance of about 1 kilometre and unable to find the Dolphin again returned back to shore.

Weak and injured Dolphin are regularly reported shoring up at this particular bay usually following a big storm, said Mr Surachai, who suspects that the abrasions spotted on the Dolphin were caused by sharp coral and rocks abundant throughout the shallow seabed in the area.

Rough weather, accompanying 3-metre waves have been reported in the Andaman Sea off the west coast of Phang Nga over the past few days.

Meanwhile Typhoon Dujuan is expected to make landfall in Taiwan over the next 24 to 36 hours.

Source: Phuket News

This appears to be an Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops aduncus).

  1. Unshelled/immature eggs retrieved inside the abdominal cavity upon necropsy.
  2. Shelled eggs inside the oviduct.
  3. 144 clean shelled eggs ready for incubation.

Update: During the necropsy, we recovered shelled eggs inside the oviduct of the dead Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata). This is one of the reasons why I stayed up to 12 midnight with the team because I was suspecting that the Turtle was about to lay a clutch of eggs but was unsuccessful. A similar case was also documented by veterinarians abroad who conducted necropsy in Sea Turtles. I thank them for publishing their articles online; it guided us in the egg retrieval and incubation. There were unshelled eggs recovered also but we just disposed of them because they are not a good pick for incubation. This morning, around 144 shelled eggs were transported to the place (Vista del Mar, Upper Calarian, ZC) where this Hawksbill was found and were “laid” in a safe sandy place. We are hopeful that in 2-3 months’ time we can see 144 live hatchlings ready to find a life in the marine world.

PS: I heard a lot of locals claiming that a Turtle egg is a good cure for anemia. It’s not true! Please don’t patronize those people selling harvested Turtle eggs and report immediately to the nearest DENR office or to your barangay officials.

Source: Christopher Luyong Facebook

Indonesia: Wanted: Sun Bear Slaughterer in East Borneo
27th September 2015;

Protection of Forest & Fauna (PROFAUNA) Indonesia received reports from people regarding a photo of a Sun Bear killing, posted on Facebook by a user named Ronal Cristoper Ronal. In the photo posted on 24 September 2015, Ronal and two other men were disembowling a Sun Bear in a river. The horrid photo was captioned “tngkapan hri ini” (“today’s catch”). According to his Facebook bio, Ronal works in the Population and Civil Registration of Tenggarong, East Borneo.

The Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus) is the smallest bear species in the world. Today, its population is dwindling due to poaching, trade, and habitat loss. The Sun Bear is protected by international conservation organizations, and also protected by the law in Indonesia. Therefore, it is strongly forbidden to be hunted or killed. Whoever violates this law is liable to a 5 years of prison and IDR 100 million fines.

In 2014, the police of Berau, East Borneo, arrested a Sun Bear killer who also posted a photo of himself skinning the bear. The user, named Ricky Werang, and his friends involved were arrested by the police. This success owed to the active participation of everybody who actively gave information and reports, including the ones sent through PROFAUNA, so that the investigation could run faster.

PROFAUNA will file this case to the authority. If you happen to hold any information that can help this investigation, please contact us at our email: or our SMS center at +6281336657164, +6281615711592.

Source: ProFauna