MIRI: The public in Sarawak must help to end wildlife abuse by stopping the buying, rearing and trapping of wild animals.
Sarawak Assistant Tourism Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin, who coordinated the rescue of two protected macaques in Miri city, said wildlife possession must not become a normal occurrence.
“Do not buy, rear or trap wildlife. Do not keep them as pets without knowledge on how to handle them in a humane manner, and provide them with proper living conditions.
“Anyone with knowledge of such actions must alert the forestry authorities.
“Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) has a wildlife rescue team called Sarawak Wildlife Action Team (SWAT) to handle rescue operations.
“It was SWAT that rescued the two macaques here.
“After I called up the SFC state chief Oswald Bracken Tisen in Kuching, he directed SWAT to rescue the macaques from the house where they were kept” said Lee.
Lee, who is Senadin state assemblyman, visited the Piasau Nature Reserve where the two rescued macaques will be kept for health checks and treatment.
“After the macaques are confirmed to be healthy, they will be released to the Matang Wildlife Sanctuary near Kuching,” he said.
Initial investigations found that the owners had kept them illegally in their backyard at Taman Tunku Miri since they were babies, he said.
He said the owners told SFC officers they took in the animals after “finding them abandoned” in a forest in Miri.
Lee said SFC was investigating other cases of illegal wildlife possession and sale of wild animals for slaughter at the Tamu Muhibah and Tamu Centrepoint in Miri.
There are people trapping wild animals throughout Miri and other parts of Sarawak and then selling them as pets or for their meat.
Those with information can call the SFC in Kuching, send details via e-mail or call the hotline listed on SFC’s website.