Tag Archives: conservation BSBCC

Sun Bear TV program overwhelmed

 A huge success for the TV program Sinar di Sepilok: Kisah Beruang Matahari Borneo (Sunshine in Sepilok: Tales of the Bornean Sun Bears) broadcasted last weekend October 13th at Malaysian TV Channel TV3. The one hour program was produced, directed, and narrated by TV3’s journalist Irin Putri in her Majalah 3 (Magazine 3) documentary. The program has been overwhelmed by the general Malaysian viewers. To most of the viewers, this was the first time that they know about sun bears and the work we do at BSBCC. According to TV3’s survey, at least 1.8 million viewers have watched this program on prime time last Saturday.

If you miss the show or if you from oversea, you now can watch the program online at:


Just register with tonton.com.my and you will have access to view it online.

Enjoy the show!


One additional notes: Irin first contacted me on July 2010 about her interest to do a program on sun bear. This is what Irin wrote more than 3 years ago:

From: Irin Putri Azmi
Sent: Thursday, July 15, 2010 11:01 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: TV3 Majalah 3 On Sun Bears

Mr. Siew,

 I’m with TV3’s magazine-documentary programme called Majalah 3. I’ve been interested to do a special feature about you and the sun bears for a while now. I would like to know if you’re interested to be featured.

 As the very few sun bear experts in Malaysia, I believe you are the best person to convey the message about sun bears and their conservations efforts to the local audience.

I look forward for your reply. You may contact me at 012-xxx xxxx for further information.


Irin Putri Azmi

Executive Broadcast Journalist

Primeworks Studios


Wow! I did not realize that it has been 3 years. Thank you Irin for your persistency to make this TV program a reality. Along with millions of viewers, I would like to thank you and TV3 for helping us to spread the words and make sun bear no longer a forgotten bear!

Smugglers’ boatload of wildlife in Malaysia


Smugglers’ boatload of wildlife


ROMPIN: Marine police foiled an attempt to smuggle out about 12 tonnes of exotic animals using a fishing boat in Tanjung Gemuk near here on Saturday.

Two suspects, in their 40s and 50s, were arrested while they were busy transferring 18 boxes containing live and dead animals from a lorry onto a boat at an old jetty about 3am. Among the animals and their parts seized were sunbear, monitor lizards and owls.

Marine police Region 3 Operation division head Deputy Superintendent Mohd Hassan Hasyim said investigations showed the suspects had brought the exotic animals from Tanjung Malim.

“They planned to load the animals into the fishing boat before transferring the consignment into another vessel at sea.
“We believe that the animals were destined for a neighbouring country to be sold at restaurants there,” he told a press conference here yesterday.

Hassan said it was the first of such case this year and the Marine police would hand over the seized animals and parts to the Wildlife and National Parks Department.



Wong’s notes: There is no doubt that wildlife smuggling in Malaysia is on the rise. Each of the wildlife smuggling that police seized represent a tip of an iceberg. If immediate and effective actions to stop wildlife poaching and smuggling are not taken soon, the rainforest in Malaysia will soon join the list of “empty forests syndrome.”    

Empty Forest Syndrome?

Read more about it at http://news.mongabay.com/2009/0118-hance_hunting.html

Here is what was written by WCS about the bushmeat crisis in Congo Basin, Africa.:


 Empty Forest Syndrome

Hunting can still be sustain able where human population density is low, and where law enforcement authorities, or other management systems, control the quantity of meat exported to urban areas.However, as industrial activities such as logging open up previously inaccessible areas of the forest through the construction of roads, and population density grows in logging villages and urban centers, the demand for bushmeat increases, making sustainable exploitation of wildlife nearly impossible. This not only threatens wildlife populations but also the livelihoods and food security of the traditional peoples that depend on them.

Although deforestation poses a significant threat to the survival of the forested landscapes in the Congo Basin, many scientists are now agreed that it is the bushmeat trade that is the greatest threat to the ecosystem. Not only does unsustainable hunting leave the forest empty of wildlife, but the plant-animal interactions that facilitate forest regeneration and maintenance are lost. 


Wong’s notes: Interestingly, the situation described above sound familiar to what I saw in Borneo and other part Malaysia and Indonesia. Ironically the authority in Malaysia always denies and shies away from the topic of wildlife poaching and smuggling. IF in the future when we hear less on the news reports on the wildlife poaching and smuggling, perhaps it is not because of the authority has done a good job to prevent such crime from happening, but the wildlife population in the country has been wiped out to the brinks of extinction. I hope I am wrong. 


Malaysia Ministry denies allegation of wildlife smuggling


MARAN, Tues: Deputy Natural Resources and Environment Minister Tan Sri Joseph Kurup has denied allegations that Malaysia is the world’s largest wildlife smuggling centre. He said the government would not compromise on the smuggling of wildlife and had taken stern action against culprits who committed such offences.

“We admit that such an activity exists, but we always take stern action against the culprits,” he told reporters after launching the Rakan Alam Sekitar campaign here today.

He was commenting on a recent report in an English daily that Malaysia had become the world’s largest wildlife smuggling centre.
Kurup said amendments to the Protection of Wildlife Act 1972 were being drafted to provide heavier penalties against those who committed offences related to wildlife and national parks. — BERNAMA

Malaysian police seize smuggled bear parts, owls

Malaysian police seize smuggled bear parts, owls

9/13/2009, 11:21 p.m. EDT The Associated Press  

(AP) — KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Malaysian police say they have seized more than $100,000 worth of dead owls, bear paws and live monitor lizards and arrested two men on suspicion of trying to smuggle them abroad.

Mohamad Hassan Hashim, a marine police official in eastern Terengganu state, says two Malaysian men were caught Sunday loading the protected wildlife into a boat.

He says police found 33 sun bear parts, 264 dead owls and 4,800 live monitor lizards, worth some 350,000 ringgit ($100,300) in all. The lizards will be released into the wild.

<!– if (parseFloat(navigator.appVersion) == 0) { document.write(”); } –>Mohamad Hassan said Monday the men could face up to three years in prison if charged with and found guilty of possessing protected wild animals.

© 2009 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

Sun Bear paws turn up in nationwide raids


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 26 August 2009—Malaysia’s wildlife authority has seized several protected animals and parts of wildlife including bear paws, in a string of raids across the country in the last two weeks.

On August 11, the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) found four bear paws in the cold room of a licensed trader’s store in the town of Kemaman in Terengganu, a state on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

Two days later, officers found an elephant tooth in a home in Triang, Pahang. On 18 August, several species of wildlife illegally kept in a shop in Sri Kembangan, in Selangor were discovered. They included two Reticulated Pythons and a pair of Water Monitors.

They also found six Black-crowned Night-herons, three Painted Storks and two Thick-billed Green-pigeons.

No arrests were made in connection with the raids.


The bear paws confiscated from a trader’s cold room. Click photo to enlarge © TRAFFIC Southeast Asia   [kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/FWDxjrfVTE8" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Meanwhile on 16 August, police nabbed a Thai poacher and recovered scales of a pangolin and six sacks of agarwood (gaharu).

The arrest was made in a forested area just off the Gerik-Jeli Highway in the Belum-Temengor Forest Complex in the northern state of Perak, which shares a border with Thailand.

Police were acting on information provided by WWF’s Wildlife Protection Unit (WPU), which regularly patrols the area with other enforcement agencies.

The 55-year-old poacher from Chiang Rai was among a party of five poachers ambushed by police. Four others escaped, leaving behind a camp stocked with 30 kilogrammes of rice and other essentials – indicating they were planning long-term operations.

The man now faces charges under three separate laws. Gerik District Police Chief, Superintendent Mahad Nor bin Abdullah, confirmed that the poacher would be charged under Section Six of the Immigration Act, for illegally entering the country. The poacher will also face charges under Section 64 (2) (a) of the Protection of Wildlife Act for possession of the Pangolin scales and Section 15 of the Forestry Act, for collecting agarwood without a licence.

Cases involving foreign poachers like this one, in Perak’s forests, are becoming an issue of increasing concern, with several cases already documented so far this year.

These forests are home to many of the world’s most threatened mammals, including Sumatran Rhinos, Malayan Tigers and Asian Elephants.

The Belum-Temengor forest complex is also part of an area of global priority for Tiger conservation, yet it is one of the most accessible areas because of the 80-km long Gerik-Jeli highway that cuts across this landscape, providing hundreds of easy entry points for poachers.

Sacks of agarwood (gaharu) left at an abandoned poachers’ camp in Belum-Temengor Forest Complex where one man was arrested Click photo to enlarge © WWF Malaysia

“Together with Perhilitan and Police, the WPU have jointly-removed over 73 snares and arrested nine poachers in the last seven months in this very area,” said Ahmad Zafir, leader of the WPU. “Camera traps set up to capture wildlife pictures for research also often capture photographs of poachers.”

“Intelligence-led investigations are needed to remove the masterminds and backers behind the scourge of poaching and illegal trade,” says Chris R. Shepherd, Acting Regional Director of TRAFFIC Southeast Asia.

“Ridding the forests of poachers is an on-going and important task, but it is essential to remove the main culprits behind the scenes – the big dealers running the show,” he added

Dato’ Dr Dionysius Sharma, CEO of WWF-Malaysia, urged the government to form a multi-agency task force to address the problem.

“While Perhilitan, police and the WPU have been doing a good job so far, stopping armed poachers is dangerous work that needs the support of many agencies,” he said.

Perhilitan’s Legislation and Enforcement Division Director Saharudin Anan said the department would add three more posts along the country’s border with Thailand and would soon host the first bilateral meeting between the two countries, on wildlife enforcement issues.