KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Wildlife Department has described the case of two plantation workers who were jailed two years for killing an orang utan as a “landmark decision”.
It was a boost to the department’s conservation efforts, its assistant director Dr Sen Nathan said, adding that it was part of efforts to combat the illegal poaching menace.
“We are focusing on poachers in forest reserves in an effort to fight the problem,” he said.
It was reported yesterday that the two workers, who pleaded guilty in the Sessions Court, had used a parang to slash the orang utan at Felda Sahabat on Jan 29.
They had been upset that the animal had damaged oil palm trees.
However, Dr Sen said wildlife rangers suspected that the culprits had wanted to consume the bushmeat.
He said 10 poachers had been caught in forest reserves and wildlife sanctuaries in the state so far this year.
The rangers had also seized various types of bushmeat at markets.
“There is local demand for bushmeat,” Dr Sen said, adding that certain people would go for any bushmeat they could get their hands on.