Photos: Eris Riswandi Facebook

Indonesia: Man hunted for killing Sun Bear
3rd September 2016;

The authorities are hunting a resident of Sambas, West Kalimantan, following a recent post on Facebook showing a picture of a Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus), an endangered species, with its throat cut.

The photo had a caption that read, “Who will buy this animal?”

Previously, on Aug. 12, the same Facebook account also hosted a picture of a man carrying the dead body of a Sun Bear with a caption that read, “It is fortunate to have caught a Sun Bear in the early morning.”

West Kalimantan’s Natural Resources Conservation Agency head Sustyo Iriono said the picture was allegedly taken in Bintulu, Sarawak, Malaysia. However, the man who posted the picture is reportedly from Sei Nilam village, Jawai district, in Sambas regency.

The agency investigating the case found the Facebook account reportedly belonged to a man identified as Joko, using the pseudonym Rosi Kuale.

“The team has visited Joko’s parents’ house in Sambas. His parents had no idea about the Facebook posts,” Sustyo said, adding he had reported the finding to the Environment and Forestry Ministry.

Source: Jakarta Post

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

Malaysia: Sabah Wildlife department probing deaths of Sun Bear and Sea Turtles

By Ruben Sario, 20th January 2016;

A probe is underway to find those responsible for the killings of a Bornean Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus) and six Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) in separate incidents at Sabah’s east coast over the past week.

Sabah Wildlife Department director William Baya said they had begun their investigations immediately after the discovery of the carcasses of these protected animals.

“We have not identified any suspects for now,” he told The Star on Wednesday.

On Jan 18, two Swedish tourists made a gruesome discovery of the carcass of a Sun Bear cut in half in the Sungai Kinabatangan.

The tourists – Tommy Eriksson and his wife Teuta Hajra – took photos of the slaughtered animal with both its hind paws missing floating in the river near Kampung Sukau, adjacent to a plantation.

Earlier on Jan 16, visitors to Semporna spotted the decomposing carcasses of six Turtles in waters off several islands in Semporna.

Wildlife conservationists believe that the Turtles could have been killed by fishermen who discovered the marine creatures caught in their nets.

There was also a possibility that the Turtles could have been slaughtered by those seaweed farmers after catching the animals feeding on their produce.

Source: The Star

Malaysia: Sabah Wildlife department probing deaths of Sun Bear and Sea Turtles

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