Malaysian rescuers release sun bear locked up for 20 years in Sarawak steel cage

The Sarawak Forestry Corporation also rescued another sun bear (above) from a house in the Demak Laut residential estate in Kuching, where it had been caged for seven years.
The Sarawak Forestry Corporation also rescued another sun bear (above) from a house in the Demak Laut residential estate in Kuching, where it had been caged for seven years.PHOTO: SARAWAK FORESTRY/FACEBOOK

MIRI (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A sun bear has been freed from over 20 years of confinement in a small cage by enforcement officers of the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC).

The late-night rescue took place at a farmhouse in Kampung Rasau near Serian, not far from Sarawak's capital Kuching, at about 9pm on Friday (Sept 27).

This followed a tip-off received by a reporter from The Star, and was the second raid by SFC enforcement officers to rescue a sun bear in the state.

The reporter immediately informed SFC chief executive officer Zolkipli Mohamad Aton, who sprang into action with his enforcement unit in Kuching and deployed a team to the site.

He said in a statement on Saturday that SFC ordered the rescue to be carried out after finding the sun bear kept in such cruel conditions.

"The owner said he obtained a licence to keep the sun bear after he bought it from someone more than 20 years ago. SFC took steps to revoke the licence and rescued the sun bear as the conditions it was kept in was cruel," he said.

The rescued sun bear weighed about 85kg and has since been sent to the Matang Wildlife Sanctuary.

On Thursday, the SFC also rescued another sun bear from a house in the Demak Laut residential estate in Kuching, where it had been caged for seven years.

It too had been sent to the Matang Wildlife Sanctuary for rehabilitation.

 

Mr Zolkipli added that capturing, hunting and selling protected wildlife can incur a jail term of at least one year and a fine of RM10,000 (S$3,300) and called on the public to call the SFC if they have any information on wildlife being abused.