Injured owl may have been kept illegally as pet

By Stephen

The Barred-Eagle Owl is a protected species in Malaysia. One was found injured at the Piasau Nature Park near Miri by Sarawak Forestry Corporation rangers. — Photo: Brandon Lim/Creative Commons

MIRI: The Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) believes there are rare birds such as owls being captured in the forests in and around Miri by unscrupulous wildlife traders.

This follows the discovery of an injured rare owl that was found dumped in a nature park here – believed to have been discarded after being illegally captured and kept as pet.

SFC rangers here believe that those responsible for dumping the bird did so after it got injured.

A senior SFC officer said enforcement rangers found the injured Barred-Eagle Owl at the Piasau Nature Park, which is about 10km from the city centre.

“The rangers found it inside the park on the ground in a weak state, unable to even move.

“The person or persons who dumped it there must have been keeping it illegally and threw it away when it became injured.

“A ranger rescued it and took it in for rehabilitation.

“The owl will be released into the forest when it is fully recovered and fit, ” he said.

SFC chief executive officer Zolkipli Mohamad Aton said the owl is a protected species.

He said it is believed the latest case was a result of wildlife trading.“Anyone capturing or keeping wildlife, selling and buying it or causing it to be killed can be jailed for a minimum one year and fined at least RM10,000 upon conviction, ” he warned.

He called on those still keeping any wildlife in Sarawak to surrender them immediately to the SFC offices in the various districts.

“Surrender them to any of the SFC officer; do not simply throw them away or abandon them, ” he said.

Members of the public who have information on such cases can call the SFC hotlines in Kuching (019-885 9996,016-856 5564), Sibu (019-888 3561), Bintulu (019-822 3449,019-833 2737) and Miri (018-979 9778,019-829 0994).

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