Malaysia: Sabah Wildlife Department still probing death of Sun Bear

21st January 2016;

The Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) is still investigating the case of the dead adult Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus) that was found floating in the Kinabatangan River on January 16 by a Swedish couple.

“We are currently investigating the case with the assistance of the police. No clue as yet to any suspect,” said SWD director William Baya when contacted yesterday.

It was reported that the Swedish couple, Tommy Eriksson and his wife, Teuta Hajra, captured photographs of the Bear about 6pm on Jan 16 and shared the images with Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) chief executive officer Wong Siew Te.

The lower part of a Sun Bear that was cut into half with both the hind paws missing and seen floating downstream at Kampung Sukau, close to an agriculture estate.

The Sun Bear’s carcass has been sent to the Sabah Wildlife Department for investigation.

Wong was reported as saying that the Bear was killed in cold blood and tthe act was an illegal one that should be stopped immediately.

“The Sun Bear population is already seriously threatened by the loss of the rainforest, and they have lost their habitat due to agricultural development.”

“The remaining population is very fragile and faces extinction. Sun Bears play many important roles in maintaining a healthy forest ecosystem,” Wong said.

The number of Sun Bears in Sabah’s wild is unknown.

Source: The Borneo Post

Malaysia: Sabah Wildlife Department still probing death of Sun Bear

The remains of a Sun Bear found floating by a Swedish couple while cruising along the Kinabatangan River on the evening of Jan 16.
Photo: Tommy Eriksson and Teuta Hajra

Malaysia: Still no leads on dead sun bear found in Kinabatangan River
By Sandra Sokial, 20th January 2016;

The Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) is still clueless over the dead adult Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus) found floating in the Kinabatangan River by two Swedish tourists last week.

Disclosing that the department was still investigating, SWD director William Baya said they were trying to get to the bottom of the case with the help of police.

“We have no clues or any suspects yet,” he said when contacted.

In earlier reports, Swedish couple, Tommy Eriksson and wife, Teuta Hajra, photographed the floating carcass about 6pm on Jan 16 and shared the images with the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) chief executive officer Wong Siew Te.

The carcass, which appeared to be the lower part of a Sun Bear that had been cut into half with both the hind paws missing, was sent to the SWD for investigation.

“The Bear was killed in cold blood, and the act is illegal and should be stopped immediately,” said Wong.

He added that the Sun Bear population was already seriously threatened by the loss of the rainforest and they had lost their habitat due to opening of land for agriculture.

Wong noted that the remaining population was very fragile and faced extinction.

“Sun Bears play many important roles in maintaining a healthy forest ecosystem,” said Wong.

Source: The Rakyat Post

Malaysia: Superstitious beliefs behind killing of sun bear?

20th January 2016;

Superstitious beliefs among Sabahans that the bile from a Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus) could help restore consciousness to an unconscious person could be the reason behind the killing of the sun bear at Sukau, Kinabatangan.

Kepayan Assemblyman Dr Edwin Bosi said it is clear by the way the carcass was found that the culprit was only interested in harvesting its gallbladder.

The bile, some believe, can snap one out of unconsciousness, such as one who is unconscious due to an accident, just by placing the bile on his or her tongue. The limbs of the Sun Bear are usually dried and kept as souvenir items unlike the palms of Monkeys and Apes which are used to cure ailments related to the respiratory system.

“As a wildlife veterinarian and consultant, I am very sad to learn of this brutal killing of a beautiful animal,” he said.

He said because of these beliefs in the animals’ medicinal value, they become victims of poachers. Sun Bear gallbladder fetches a high price.

“People have even asked me for animal parts during my time at the Sepilok Wildlife Clinic,” he said.

Bosi said he is not trying to promote more poaching by telling the public about the uses and monetary value of Sun Bear gallbladders or Monkey palms but as a reminder to the government and the public that poaching against these animals would continue as long as there is demand for their parts.

“It is our duty to counter these perceptions and follow up with strong enforcement,” he said, adding that he hoped that the Sun Bear is not the one that was reportedly released to the wild from a mini zoo in Tawau.

“I heard about the incident in the Tawau mini zoo some months ago and it is a subject of discussion among conservationists around the world. I think Sabah is getting famous for all the wrong reasons.

"The extinction of the Sumatran Rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) during our time, killings of Pygmy Elephants (Elephas maximus borneensis), heavy poaching activities, smuggling of wildlife and the reported poor management of animals in the zoos are not good for Sabah who had spent so much effort and money to promote eco-tourism,” he said.

Speaking through experience, Bosi said it is not an easy task to rehabilitate Sun Bears back to the wild as even wild Bears came to steal from human tents in the wild. The notion that these animals are afraid of human, he said is quite true because they would quickly disappear when they see humans in the woods.

However, he said, it would be totally different when they have been habituated to humans under long term captivity.

“I have assisted in tranquilising a Sun Bear at one of the resorts in Sepilok. The animal was kept as a pet from young and deemed so playful and friendly by the owner. Then one day it escaped from its cage and the owner tried to put it back into the cage only to be mauled in his thigh.

"A Sun Bear is always a wild animal. It is never a good choice to confine them in cages or in captivity.

However,Sun Bear-human conflict can and will happen once its habitat is diminished,” he said.

Last Saturday, a Swedish couple captured photos of the carcass of an adult Sun Bear floating in the Kinabatangan River while on a cruise to spot wildlife.

They shared the images with the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) Chief Executive Officer Wong Siew Te.

The carcass they saw was the lower part of a Sun Bear that was cut into half with both its hind paws missing.

It was seen floating downstream at Kampung Sukau, close to an agriculture estate.

The Sun Bear’s carcass was recovered later in the night with the help of Kinabatangan–Corridor of Life Tourism Association (KiTA) members and sent to the Sabah Wildlife Department for investigation.

In a joint statement issued by the department and the BSBCC, Wong said the Bear was killed in cold blood and that the act was an illegal one that should be stopped immediately.

There are no estimates on the number of Sun Bears in Sabah’s wild, and those that are found orphaned or caged as part of the pet trade are usually sent to the BSBCC for rehabilitation.

Source: Daily Express

Malaysia: Superstitious beliefs behind killing of sun bear?

A bear-y sad sight: The Sun Bear carcass which was found in Sungai Kinabatangan in Sandakan.

Malaysia: Tourists find slaughtered Sun Bear
19th January 2016;

Two Swedish tourists made a gruesome discovery of a Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus) carcass cut in half in Sungai Kinabatangan while cruising along the river to view Sabah’s diverse wildlife.

Tommy Eriksson and his wife Teuta Hajra took photos of the slaughtered animal at about 6pm on Jan 16 and shared the pictures with Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) chief executive Wong Siew Te on Monday.

Wong said the couple spotted the Sun Bear carcass floating in the river near Kampung Sukau, near a plantation. Both its hind paws were missing.

Eriksson told Wong that his wife was the first to spot the carcass floating in the river, and only realised what it was when they got closer.

The couple became angry after seeing the slaughtered animal and their immediate suspicion was that it was a victim of poaching.

The carcass was recovered later with the help of Kinabatangan Corridor of Life Tourism Association members and sent to the Sabah Wildlife Department for investigation.

Wong said the Bear was killed in cold blood and that the act was an illegal one, adding that such practices should be stopped immediately.

Source: The Star

Tourists discover dead Sun Bear floating in Kinabatangan River

SANDAKAN, 18 January 2016: The carcass of an adult Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus) floating in the Kinabatangan River was the last thing Swedish tourists Tommy Eriksson and his wife TeutaHajra expected to see while on a cruise to spot wildlife.

They managed to capture photographs of the Bear at about 6pm on Jan 16, and shared the images with Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) chief executive officer Wong Siew Te, today.

The carcass was the lower part of a Sun Bear that was cut into half with both of the hind paws missing and seen floating downstream of Kampung Sukau, close to an agricultural estate.

According to Eriksson, his wife was the first to spot the floating carcass on the river and when they got closer to it, they realised that it was actually a Sun Bear carcass cut into half.

Eriksson said they felt depressed and angry after seeing the dead Sun Bear which they believe had become a victim of poaching.

“We feel sad witnessing the scale of the deforestation is this area. The act of the killing is really brutal. This country has so much magnificent wildlife and I hope that it will take care of habitats,” added Teuta who broke into tears when she saw the carcass.

The Sun Bear carcass was recovered later in the night from the helps of Kinabatangan –Corridor of Life Tourism Association (KiTA) members and sent to Sabah Wildlife Department for investigation.

In a statement, Wong said the Bear was killed in cold blood and that the act was an illegal one that should be stopped immediately.

“The Sun Bear population is already seriously threatened from loss of the rainforest, and they have lost their habitat due to agricultural development.”

“"The remaining population is very fragile and prone to local extinction. Sun Bear play many important roles in maintaining a healthy forest ecosystem. The loss of this Sun bear is very bad for the remaining forests,“ Wong said.

There are no estimates on the exact number of Sun Bears in Sabah’s wild and those that are found orphaned or caged as part of the pet trade are usually sent to BSBCC for rehabilitation.

For further details on this Press release, please contact Mr Wong Siew Te at 016-5551256.

Source: Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) Facebook

Malaysia: Dead Sun Bear found floating in Kinabatangan River
By Ruben Sario, 18th January 2016;

Two Swedish tourists made a gruesome discovery of a floating carcass of a Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus) while on a river cruise along Sungai Kinabatangan to view Sabah’s diverse wildlife.

The tourists – Tommy Eriksson and his wife Teuta Hajra – took photos of the slaughtered animal at about 6pm on Jan 16 and shared the pictures with Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) chief executive Wong Siew Te on Monday.

Wong said the couple spotted the carcass, which was the lower part of the Sun Bear with both its hind paws missing, floating in the river near a plantation near Kampung Sukau.

Eriksson told Wong that his wife was the first to spot the carcass in the river and when they got closer to it, they realised that it was actually a Sun Bear carcass cut in half.

The couple also told Wong how angry and upset they became after seeing the carcass and their immediate suspicion was that it had been a victim of poachers.

The carcass was recovered just hours later with the help of Kinabatangan – Corridor of Life Tourism Association (KiTA) members and sent to the Sabah Wildlife Department for investigation.

Wong said the Bear was killed in cold blood and such illegal acts should be stopped immediately.

“The Sun Bear population is already under serious threat from loss of the rainforest, and losing their habitat due to agricultural development,” he added.

“The remaining population is very fragile and prone to local extinction. Sun Bears play many important roles in maintaining a healthy forest ecosystem,” he said.

“The loss of this Sun Bear is very bad for the remaining forests,” Wong added.

There are no estimates on the exact number of Sun Bears in Sabah’s wild and those that are found orphaned or caged as part of the wildlife trade are usually sent to BSBCC for rehabilitation.

Source: The Star

The remains of a Sun Bear found floating by a Swedish couple while cruising along the Kinabatangan River on the evening of Jan 16.
Photo: Tommy Eriksson and Teuta Hajra

Malaysia: Carcass of Sun Bear in Kinabatangan River brings Swedish couple to tears
By Sandra Sokial, 18th January 2016;

A Swedish couple went cruising along the Kinabatangan River recently and became distressed when they caught sight of the remains of a Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus).

The husband and wife, Tommy Eriksson and Teuta Hajra, spotted the carcass floating in the river and later shared online the image, captured on Jan 16 at 6pm.

Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) chief executive officer Wong Siew Te said today the carcass was the lower part of a Sun Bear that was cut into half, with both of the hind paws missing and seen floating downstream of Kampung Sukau, close to an agricultural estate.

“Eriksson told me that his wife was the first to spot the floating carcass. When they got closer, they realised that it was actually a Sun Bear carcass cut into half.”

The discovery made the foreign tourists angry. They believe the protected animal had become a victim of poaching.

“We feel sad witnessing the scale of the deforestation is this area. The act of the killing is really brutal. This country has so much magnificent wildlife. I hope that it will take care of habitats,” said Teuta, who broke into tears when she saw the carcass.

The Sun Bear carcass was fished out of the river later that night, with the help from Kinabatangan – Corridor of Life Tourism Association (KiTA) members and handed to the Sabah Wildlife Department for investigation.

In a statement, Wong said the Bear was killed in cold blood and said such illegal acts must be stopped immediately.

“We believe poachers took parts of the Sun Bear’s body to meet commercial demand.

"The paws are for a delicacy while its gall bladder is said to have medicinal value. Both items can fetch high prices.”

“We condemn such acts, especially since the Sun Bear population is already seriously threatened from loss of the rainforest to agricultural development, thus affecting their natural habitat.”

Wong noted that the remaining population was very fragile and faced local extinction.

“Sun bears play many important roles in maintaining a healthy forest ecosystem. The loss of this Sun Bear is not just bad to the environment, but for everyone as a whole.”

He said there are no estimate on the exact number of Sun Bear in Sabah’s wild, including those found orphaned or caged.

Source: The Rakyat Post

The carcass of the Sun Bear, with only the lower part remaining and both of the hind paws missing which a Swedish couple spotted floating downstream of Kampung Sukau, during a cruise at Kinabatangan river on Saturday.
Photo: BSBCC

Malaysia: Swedish couple stumble on Sun Bear carcass during Sabah river cruise
By Kristy Inus, 18th January 2016;

A Swedish couple had the shock of their lives when they spotted the carcass of an adult Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus) floating at the Kinabatangan River during a cruise on Saturday.

Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) chief executive officer Wong Siew Te said the couple shared the photograph taken around 6pm.

“The carcass was the lower part of a Sun Bear that was cut into half with both of the hind paws missing. It was seen floating downstream of Kampung Sukau, close to an agricultural estate.

"The Sun Bear’s carcass was recovered later that night with the help of Kinabatangan Corridor of Life Tourism Association (KiTA) members and sent to the Sabah Wildlife Department for investigation.

"I believe the Bear was killed in cold blood and this is an illegal act that should be stopped immediately,” stressed Wong in a statement.

Wong said the tourist couple were angry after seeing the dead mammal which they believed was a victim of poaching.

Source: New Straits Times

The Sun Bear carcass was found floating on Kinabatangan River on the evening of Jan 16.
Photo: Tommy Eriksson

Malaysia: Tourists discover dead Sun Bear floating in Kinabatangan River
18th January 2016;

The carcass of an adult Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus) floating in Kinabatangan River was the last thing Swedish tourists Tommy Eriksson and his wife Teuta Hajra expected to see while on a cruise to spot wildlife.

They managed to capture photographs of the Bear at about 6pm on Jan 16, and shared the images with Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) chief executive officer Wong Siew Te, today (Jan 18).

The carcass was the lower part of a Sun Bear that was cut into half with both the hind paws missing and seen floating downstream at Kampung Sukau, close to an agriculture estate.

According to Eriksson, his wife was the first to spot the floating carcass on the river and when they got closer to it, they realised that it was actually half of a Sun Bear carcass.

Eriksson said they felt depressed and angry after seeing the dead Sun Bear which they believed was a victim of poaching.

“We feel sad witnessing the scale of deforestation is this area. The act of killing the animal is really brutal. This country has so much magnificent wildlife and I hope that it will take care of their habitats,” added Teuta, who broke into tears when she saw the carcass.

The Sun Bear carcass was recovered later in the night with the help of Kinabatangan–Corridor of Life Tourism Association (KiTA) members and sent to the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) for investigation.

In a joint statement issued by the SWD and BSBCC, Wong said the Bear was killed in cold blood and that the act was an illegal one that should be stopped immediately.

“The Sun Bear population is already seriously threatened by the loss of the rainforest, and they have lost their habitat due to agricultural development.

"The remaining population is very fragile and faces extinction. Sun Bears play many important roles in maintaining a healthy forest ecosystem,” Wong said.

There are no estimates on the number of Sun Bears in Sabah’s wild and those that are found orphaned or caged as part of the pet trade are usually sent to BSBCC for rehabilitation.

Source: The Borneo Post