PETALING JAYA: The public has been urged to refrain from buying animal parts of endangered species as this will only encourage poaching.
Malaysia Nature Society science officer Stella Melkion said there needed to be heightened awareness on the matter as poaching only happened when there was a demand for the animal parts.
Villagers should also be trained to identify poachers and report suspicious behaviour, she said.
She was commenting on the recent deaths of elephants in Johor where the animals' trunks and ears were chopped off and in Sabah where the tusks of an elephant were removed and a leg was chopped off for meat.
A National Parks and Wildlife Department official said the department needed public help in the fight against poaching as we cant be everywhere at the same time.
They can call our enforcement division at 012-311-1753 to report poaching and well take immediate action, he said.
According to a wildlife officer, elephants take time to adjust to their new surroundings and tend to wander about.
This made them vulnerable when being relocated and they were regarded as easy prey by poachers, he said. WWF-Malaysia national programme director Dr Dionysius Sharma said there should be stricter enforcement of the law as it was illegal to capture, hurt, kill or trade any part of an elephant, be it dead or alive.
The Judiciary needs to be aware of the gravity of the issue and mete out heavier punishment as the current punishment is like a slap on the wrist, he said.
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