MIRI: A severed head of a totally protected dolphin was found floating in Sungai Miri here, adjacent to the South China Sea, outraging citizens who are demanding swift punitive action.
A Sea Scout leader, Vincent Loks, yesterday alerted The Star to the incident after he lodged a complaint to the Marine Fisheries Department upon being informed of the gruesome discovery by a diving instructor.
“The dive master managed to take photos of the severed head before it was carried away by the current. It is clear from the photo that the head of the dolphin had been purposely cut off.
“I have heard from some people that there had been cases of dolphins that were illegally caught near the shores of Miri and slaughtered for their meat,” he said.
Loks said he had lodged a complaint to the Marine Fisheries Department and its deputy director Johari Ramli said the department would investigate.
“Johari said dolphins are totally protected under the Wildlife Protection Ordinance and that capturing or killing of the marine mammal is an offence.”
Datuk Sebastian Ting, who is chairman of the Piasau Camp Nature Park Society, reacted with shock when informed of the discovery.
Sungai Miri runs through the Piasau Camp, recently declared a totally protected area by Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem.
The place is where rare hornbills were discovered living within the city, a very rare occurrence considering the fact that hornbills had never been discovered living in their natural state so near to an urban centre before.
“If there are people actually catching and killing these rare and beautiful creatures, swift action must be taken to stop such senseless killing.
“We are trying very hard to promote Miri city as a place where nature and humans can live side by side and prosper together.
“There is simply no excuse why anyone should catch or kill any dolphin,” he stressed.