IPOH: Three hunters were caught with dissected parts of sambar deer – a protected species – in the Aman Jaya Forest Reserve, near KM69 of the East Coast Expressway in Grik.
State Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) director Rozidan Mohd Yassin said the hunters, all from Kelantan, were caught while trying to load the deer parts into their four-wheel drive vehicle at about 3.45am yesterday.
“Two others, including one who was carrying a rifle, got away.
“Besides the deer parts, we found ammunition and a shooting licence belonging to the individual with the rifle.
“We are now looking for the rifle owner,” he told reporters here yesterday.
Sambar deer, said Rozidan, had been categorised as vulnerable and protected.
“The deer are the main prey for tigers. There’s a market for deer meat. This costs between RM40 and RM60 per kg,” he said, adding that illegal hunting activities were still happening in the forest reserve.
“Based on our investigation, there are many entry points into the forest along the expressway.
“Although we don’t have enough manpower, we always carry out patrols along the forest reserve.
“We are also working with other agencies like the Forestry Department and the police.”
Rozidan said this was the third case this year.
“We previously arrested two hunters found with kijang and serow,” he said.
Those arrested, he said, would be investigated under Section 60(1) and 62 of the Wildlife Conservation Act and could face up to three years in jail or a fine of not more than RM50,000 or both.