MIRI: The Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) has rescued two endangered eagles and a slow loris, also seizing dozens of turtle eggs.
In a series of enforcement operations in Serikin town at the southern Sarawak-Kalimantan border, SFC units arrested an Indonesian woman, 47, for selling the turtle eggs in the market there.
The operations were carried out in Serikin during the Gawai and Hari Raya holidays.
The raptors – a fish eagle and a crested serpent eagle – were caged in a house in Serikin. The owner escaped before the SFC unit raided the premises.
Another person surrendered a slow loris to the SFC team.
The Indonesian woman caught with the turtle eggs has been handed to the police.
SFC chief executive officer Zolkipli Mohamad Aton said on Tuesday (June 11) that the SFC would be relentless in enforcement to hit home the message that wild animals were not property.
“This is our continuous effort to educate the public that wildlife is best left undisturbed in their natural homes in the forests.
“They cannot be captured, hunted, sold, kept as pets, killed or consumed,” he said, adding that heavy penalties, including fines and jail terms, awaited offenders.
Zolkipli said tackling wildlife abuse in Sarawak was a challenging and arduous task not only in terms of logistics but also because of the attitude of many people.
“Many locals feel there is nothing wrong in the capturing or eating wildlife. That is why we are also carrying out education campaigns in longhouses, kampungs (villages), markets and even schools on the need to conserve wildlife,” he added.
Since March 1, raids have been carried out in markets in Miri, Kuala Baram, Kuching, Kota Samarahan, Matang, Serian, Bau, Sibu, Sarikei, Serikin, Julau, Selangau, Bintulu and Kidurong.
Zolkipli said members of the public who have information on wildlife abuse can call the SFC hotlines.
These SFC hotlines are in Kuching (019-8859996, 016-8565564) in Sibu (019-8190140, 019-8894474) in Bintulu (019-8223449, 019-8332737) and in Miri (019-8224566, 019-8290994).