1. Police responding to the scene where a motorcycle failed to swerve in time and crashed into a Sun Bear on the East Coast Expressway 2.
  2. A group of men skinning and disfiguring a Tapir that was killed in a car accident the night before in Gua Musang (Dec 24).
  3. Photos: Malaysian Response Team and Ediey King, via The Star

    Malaysia: Spate of rare animal deaths in Malaysia sparks alarm
    28th December 2017;

    The deaths of two Sun Bears (Helarctos malayanus) and a Tapir (Tapirus indicus) in Malaysia sparked fresh alarm among activists Thursday at the growing number of exotic animals perishing in the biodiverse country.

    A Sun Bear and Tapir were killed in road accidents in the northeast of the country on Christmas Eve, with the Tapir skinned by villagers after its carcass was discovered, environmental group WWF said.

    A second Sun Bear was killed and cut up, with its parts spotted on the same day sold openly at a market in Sarawak state on Borneo island, local media reported.

    “Despite all efforts from various organisations and government bodies, yet again, we as a nation, have failed to stand up for our Malaysian wildlife,” said Dionysius Sharma, WWF-Malaysia executive director.

    “If we do not take drastic measures to protect our wildlife now, we may lose them to extinction in the near future.”

    Tropical, jungle-clad Malaysia is home to a dizzying array of wildlife, from Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) to Pangolins (Manis javanica), but their numbers have been dwindling.

    They are targeted by poachers, their natural habitat has been shrinking due to expansion of plantations, while hundreds have been killed on busy roads as the highway network has rapidly expanded.

    Two Elephants (Elephas maximus) were killed in the space of three months earlier this year after being hit by vehicles on the same stretch of highway in northern Malaysia.

    Sun Bears are the smallest of the bear species, and are classified as vulnerable by protection group the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

    Tapirs are known for their long, drooping noses which they use to forage for leaves, with the variety in Malaysia listed as endangered.

    Source: AFP, via Yahoo! News

Photos: Detik.com, Tribunnews.com, Aceh Portal [1], [2], Forest Nature and Environment Aceh Facebook and Waspada Online

Indonesia: Pregnant Elephant ‘poisoned’ in Indonesian palm plantation
27th December 2017;

A pregnant Elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus) has been found dead in a palm oil plantation on Indonesia’s Sumatra island, in what authorities suspect was a deliberate poisoning, an official said Wednesday.

The animal’s body was found near the remote Seuneubok Bayu village in Aceh on December 22, after authorities received a tip off from locals, Aceh conservation centre head Sapto Aji Prabowo told AFP.

“The 25-year-old Elephant had been dead for around 10 days when we got there,” he said.

"From the autopsy, we saw that its digestive organs turned black which the doctor said was a general indication of poisoning.”

The Sumatran Elephant was carrying 13-month old male foetus and was at least six months short of giving birth.

Locals have told authorities that several days before the carcass was discovered farmers had complained an Elephant ate their fertilizer.

Sumatran Elephant are critically endangered and a protected species, but rampant deforestation for plantations has reduced their natural habitat and brought them into conflict with humans.

At least 11 wild Elephants died in Aceh this year, most of them killed by humans, according to Prabowo.

In January, authorities found a dead Elephant without tusks in Aceh, along with its abandoned 11-month-old calf.

Source: AFP, via Jakarta Post

Environmental activists in Indonesia tred to refloat nine beached Sperm Whales but four of them died

Indonesia: Four Sperm Whales die in Indonesia beach rescue
14th November 2017;

Four Sperm Whales (Physeter macrocephalus) stranded on a beach in Indonesia have died, a local official said Tuesday, despite frantic efforts to save the massive mammals.

The Whales were among a pod of 10 spotted by locals stranded along Ujong Krueng beach in Aceh province Monday, with one seen farther out in the water.

Rescuers tried to push the nine beached Whales back out to sea as hundreds of curious locals looked on, some snapping pictures.

Five were pushed back and survived but four died, some with their mouth agape as small waves crashed over their giant bodies.

Rescuers tied ropes to the tails of some of the mammals to pull them to deeper water.

“We had problems evacuating them due to a lack of experience and equipment,” Aceh nature conservation agency head Sapto Aji Prabowo told AFP.

“But this is a good lesson for us because Aceh is a crossing point for marine mammals so in the future we should be prepared to deal with situations like this.”

An official autopsy will be conducted on the Whales to determine the cause of death, but Prabowo said the giant gray creatures may have followed their leader to shore or lost their way.

“Usually, Sperm Whales will avoid going into deep water if they’re sick. Two of them were sick. So, we assume the leaders were sick and the others automatically followed them to the beach,” Prabowo said.

One Whale had wounds that suggested it had been injured by a coral reef, he said, adding that the four dead will be buried close to the beach.

This is the second time in the last few years that Sperm Whales have been found beached in northernmost Sumatra island, with one found dead on a beach in Banda Aceh in 2016.

Also last year, eight Pilot Whales died after a mass stranding on the coast of Indonesia’s main island of Java.

They were among a group of more than two dozen Short-finned Pilot Whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) that had come ashore during high tide.

Source: AFP, on Yahoo! News

Indonesian environmental activists, military and police personnel and villagers try to help a group of Short-finned Pilot Whales stranded during a high tide in Probolinggo, East Java province on June 16, 2016
Photo: AFP Photo/Juni Kriswanto

Indonesia: Dozens of Pilot Whales stranded in Indonesia, eight dead
16th June 2016;

Eight Pilot Whales have died after a mass stranding on the coast of Indonesia’s main island of Java that sparked a major rescue operation, an official said Thursday.

Thirty-two of the Short-finned Pilot Whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) came ashore during high tide early Wednesday in Probolinggo, East Java province.

“At first there were just one or two Whales swimming near the shore, and the nature of whales is that if they are sick they will come near the shore,” Dedy Isfandi, the head of the local maritime and fisheries office, told AFP.

“But Whales have such high social interaction – when one fell ill, they approach the sick one to swim back to sea… when the tide fell all of them were trapped,” Isfandi added.

Hundreds of local fishermen and government officials tried to take them back out to sea overnight, but in the morning eight Whales had returned to shore and died, Isfandi said.

About 23 others were already out at sea while one disoriented Whale was accompanied by some rescuers to make sure it did not return to shore.

Rescuers used tarps to wrap around the beached sea mammals and pull them out to sea while swimmers plunged into the water to drive others out of the area.

Vets and scientists conducted autopsies on the dead Whales to find out why they were stranded, but fishery officials said it could be due to turbulent waters in the Indian Ocean or they had eaten something poisonous.

Over the last decade or so, Whale Sharks (Rhincodon typus) and Orcas (Orcinus orca) were also found stranded in the area, Isfandi said.

Conservation group International Union for Conservation of Nature said there was insufficient data to classify the risk of extinction of Short-finned Pilot Whales, which are found in warm temperate to tropical waters.

Source: AFP, on Yahoo! News

This undated picture taken late on February 2016 and released by Centre of Orangutan Protection on March 3, 2016, shows the body of an Orangutan after a forest fire at Kutai National Park in Bontang, East Kalimantan province.

Indonesia: Three Orangutans, including a baby, burnt to death in Borneo forest fire
3rd March 2016;

Three female Orangutans, including a baby, were burnt to death in Borneo after being caught in a fire believed to have been started illegally to clear land for farming, an official and protection group said on Thursday (March 3).

The charred bodies of the endangered Bornean Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus), believed to be a mother and her two daughters, were discovered among fire-blackened remains of trees, their limbs outstretched and grimaces of pain on their faces.

They were found in Bontang, in the Indonesian part of Borneo island, close to Kutai National Park. Park officials began investigating after seeing pictures of the animals circulating on social media, said park staff member Dede Hidayat.

“We went to the scene about one kilometre (half a mile) outside the national park and we found the Orangutans lying on the ground, badly burnt,” she told AFP.

Wildlife authorities and police are now investigating the case. No one has been arrested yet, but if convicted, a perpetrator could face up to five years in jail for breaking wildlife protection laws.

Environmental group the Centre for Orangutan Protection (COP), which is helping authorities investigate the case, believe the fire was illegally started by a farmer to clear a small area of land for cultivation.

Slash-and-burn forest clearance, mostly to make way for palm oil plantations, is common across Indonesia and environmentalists say it has contributed to the destruction of many endangered species’ natural habitats.

It was also blamed for causing huge forest fires that cloaked Southeast Asia in acrid smog last year. Many Orangutans had to be rescued from the blazes.

COP, which runs an Orangutan rescue centre in Borneo, carried out an autopsy on the apes after they were discovered last month. The group found they were all female, and aged around 20, 10, and less than one year, said COP founder Hardi Baktiantoro.

Protection group the International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies the Bornean Orangutan as endangered.

Besides destruction of their habitats for agriculture, the primates face other threats. They are sometimes targeted by villagers who view them as pests, and caught by poachers who want to sell them as pets.

Source: AFP, on Coconuts Jakarta

Philippines: Endangered Monkey-eating Eagle shot and wounded in Philippines

24th February 2016;

An endangered Monkey-eating Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) which was released into the wild under a conservation programme is now fighting for survival after being shot, a Philippine conservation group said Wednesday.

The metre-long (3.3-foot) raptor, which preys on Macaques (Macaca fascicularis) and other small animals sharing its forest habitat, was shot at the weekend.

One man surrendered to the Philippine Eagle Foundation in Davao city on Mindanao island on Sunday and also handed over the injured bird, the Philippine Eagle Foundation said in a statement.

He, along with a second man, was turned over to the police. Both are under arrest.

“The wounded Eagle is under observation but I cannot assess its survival chances at this time,” the foundation’s curator Anna Mae Sumaya told AFP.

The foundation said the shooting shattered the bird’s right wing. It was unclear if the six-year-old male would ever fly again.

Killing Monkey-eating Eagles is punishable by a 12-year prison term and a one million-peso ($21,000) fine, while wounding the species incurs a four-year prison term and a half million-peso fine.

The bird is famed for its elongated nape feathers that form into a shaggy crest. Its two-metre wingspan makes it one of the world’s largest Eagles.

It is found nowhere except the Philippines, where it is the country’s national bird. About 600 of them are thought to be left in the wild.

Source: AFP

Philippines: Endangered Monkey-eating Eagle shot and wounded in Philippines

  1. An injured Sumatran elephant calf pictured after its leg became entangled at the Balairaja wildlife sanctuary in Bengkalis, in the Riau province of Indonesia’s Sumatra island, on February 18, 2016
  2. Veterinary workers treat a sick elephant calf after its leg became entangled at the Balairaja wildlife sanctuary in Bengkalis, in Riau province on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, on February 18, 2016

Photos: AFP / Fachrozi Amri

Indonesia: Sumatran Elephant found with leg almost severed by rope
19th February 2016;

A Sumatran Elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus) calf lies stricken in the jungle in Indonesia as conservationists fight to remove a rope tightly wound around its leg that almost caused the critically endangered animal to lose a limb.

The youngster was spotted with another calf and their mother in a wildlife sanctuary in Bengkalis, Riau province, with their legs entangled in ropes that are believed to have come from traps set by locals, according to the Indonesian Mahout Association.

The calf lies on its side in the mud, as a rescuer holds an intravenous drip that is attached to the creature, during the operation to remove the tightly wound cord.

His leg was saved but the other two Elephants were not so lucky – the mother lost her tail and the other calf lost a leg, according to the association, which believes the Elephants were entangled for several months.

After being alerted by a group of trekkers who posted pictures on social media, local conservationists tracked down the Elephants and carefully removed the ropes from their legs and treated their wounds.

The operation took a week due to a lack of decent equipment and ended Friday, with all the ropes removed and the pachyderms left in the wild, according to mahout association chairman Nazaruddin, who like many Indonesians goes by one name. A mahout is an Elephant keeper.

It is not clear whether the Elephants were the intended targets of the rope traps or if villagers were trying to catch other animals for food, Nazaruddin said.

Protection group the International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies the Sumatran Elephant as critically endangered, and there are believed to be less than 3,000 remaining in the wild.

Source: AFP