Tag Archives: threats

Fallacy And Absurdity

June, 20, 2013 – 7:11 pm

Fallacy And Absurdity

With the demand of traditional medicine seekers, Sun Bears continue to be at risk of getting hunted in the wild – BSBCC Wong

By Jaswinder Kler

caged20SANDAKAN: Hunted for generations in the jungles of Borneo for the bile from its gall bladder and for food, the Malayan Sun Bear continues to be a target for the ever present global demand in traditional medicine and exotic meat.

The fallacy of the benefits of bile and the idiocy of humans is threatening the world’s smallest bear which is said to have dwindled in numbers by 30 per cent in the last three decades.

Asiatic Black Bears, for example, are kept in unimaginably cruel conditions in small metal cages and their bile extracted for up to 20 years, and then killed once they are unable to produce the liquid.

While there are no bear bile farms in Malaysia, bear bile is consumed locally. Bear gall bladder, bear bile capsules and other bile products are sold illegally in traditional medicine stores.

Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) founder and chief executive officer Wong Siew Te said natives, particularly in Borneo, traditionally believe that the Sun Bear’s bile ejects itself out of the gall bladder and spreads inside a bear’s body, healing injuries in a fall.

File picture of Sun Bear bile sold at the Gaya Street market in Kota Kinabalu. – Picture courtesy of BSBCC.

File picture of Sun Bear bile sold at the Gaya Street market in Kota Kinabalu. – Picture courtesy of BSBCC.

“Sun Bears can climb high up on trees and normally climb down slowly from the tree. However when they encounter human encroachment in the forest when they are on a tree, they tend to slide down quickly or even drop themselves from the tree. They then recover quickly and go about their day.

“This has erroneously made people believe that the phenomenon is due to the power of the Sun Bear bile that spreads within the body and heals the bears, allowing them to recover instantly.

“This is why Sun Bears are traditionally hunted in the wild for their bile, apart from their meat,” Wong said.

With this demand, Sun Bears continue to be at risk of getting hunted in the wild, Wong said in a statement to create awareness on the plight of Sun Bears.

While the actual number of Sun Bears in the wild is unknown, its status as a Totally Protected species under the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment and its listing as “Vulnerable” on The IUCN Red List are not keeping those after its bile away from the risk of prosecution.

BSBCC founder and CEO Wong Siew Te with rescued Sun Bear, Natalie. As cubs, bears are cute but the law does not allow anyone to keep them as pets. – Picture courtesy of BSBCC.

BSBCC founder and CEO Wong Siew Te with rescued Sun Bear, Natalie. As cubs, bears are cute but the law does not allow anyone to keep them as pets. – Picture courtesy of BSBCC.

Under the Enactment, those found in possession of a Sun Bear or its product could face a fine of up to RM50,000 or a jail term of five years, or both.

Wong said Sun Bears are still hunted in Borneo for their purported medicinal properties, and cited a recent news report on bear meat and parts being sold at a market in Kapit, Sarawak.

Other threats that Sun Bears face include habitat loss and demand for the exotic pet trade.

“Sun Bear cubs are cute and there is demand for such a pet. To get a cub, the mother is killed to prevent hunters from getting harmed. Once these cubs grow, they become aggressive and it becomes dangerous to keep them as pets.

“This is when they are surrendered to the authorities. They lose survival skills when kept as pets, as this is something they learn from their mothers,” he said.

Bears surrendered to or confiscated by the Sabah Wildlife Department are sent to the BSBCC adjacent to the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre. It is currently home to 28 Sun Bears.

Awareness activities will be stepped up once the BSBCC is officially opened to the public, tentatively by early next year.

The BSBCC is planning to hold a fund raiser on July 20 in Sandakan to meet the ever increasing costs of caring for Sun Bears in captivity and for awareness work.

Sun Bears are also sought after for the pet trade, but problems emerge once the bears grow older and become aggressive. – Picture courtesy of BSBCC.

Sun Bears are also sought after for the pet trade, but problems emerge once the bears grow older and become aggressive. – Picture courtesy of BSBCC.

The fundraising dinner with the theme “Big Dreams, Little Bears” will see Wong sharing with guests updates on Sun Bears, apart from an exclusive photographic art auction by Jonathan Tan and performances by Jaclyn Victor, Gary Chow, Pink Tan and Amir Yussof and friends.

A free documentary screening is scheduled for July 21 at the Sabah Hotel for 500 students, teachers and representatives of local associations.

The BSBCC is a non-governmental organisation set up in 2008 through collaboration of the Sabah Wildlife Department, Sabah Forestry Department and Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP).

Major funders for BSBCC include Yayasan Sime Darby, the federal Tourism Ministry, Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry, the Sabah State Government and other foreign and local organisations.

To learn more about Sun Bears, visit www.bsbcc.org.my and Facebook page www.facebook.com/ sunbear.bsbcc.

Two rare Malayan sun bears found in abandoned Cambodian garment factory

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/02/22/two-rare-malayan-sun-bears-found-in-abandoned-cambodian-garment-factory/

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, February 22, 2013 9:15 EST

Sun bear Dawy at Phnom Tamao Zoo south of Phnom Penh in 2008. (AFP)

 
 

Two rare Malayan sun bears have been rescued in Cambodia after being discovered in an abandoned garment factory, a zoo official said Friday.

The male and female bears were rescued by officials from the Phnom Tamao Zoo and the Wildlife Alliance, who found them in the factory in southern Kandal province last week, according to zoo director Nhek Rattanak Pich.

“The bears were left with no food and no one to care for them after the factory owner fled the country,” the Wildlife Alliance said on its website.

The group said local authorities had called them after the bears were found in purpose-built cages at the factory, which closed without notice in December.

The bears are now being cared for at the zoo, its director said, adding that he did not know why they had been kept at the factory.

The Malayan sun bear is found primarily in Southeast Asia and is classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Bears are among many species that have been decimated by wildlife trafficking in Asia, which is fuelled in large part by China’s massive appetite for exotic meats and animal parts for traditional medicine.

 
 
 
 

Malaysian Bear Suspected of Dying of Poisoned Fruit Had Rowdy Youth

http://blogs.wsj.com/searealtime/2013/02/22/malaysian-bear-suspected-of-dying-of-poisoned-fruit-had-rowdy-youth/

February 22, 2013, 7:54 PM

By Celine Fernandez

The bear suspected of dying this week after eating poisoned fruit at a zoo in southwest Malaysia had been caught about a dozen years ago after disturbing crops and farmers.

Malacca Zoo and Night Safari
Police suspect that Lala, a sun bear living in a Malaysian zoo, died after eating poisoned fruit.

New details emerged late this week about “Lala,” a sun bear who is believed to have been about 14-to-16 years old at her death. When workers at the Malacca Zoo and Night Safari saw her foaming at the mouth and in convulsions, her mate, Kiki, was hovering over her.

Police have a suspect in the case – an unidentified former owner of another zoo. Police say the man – who is also accused of poisoning a retired race horse at the zoo Sunday – was pursuing a vendetta because he was angry that his zoo had been shut down due to alleged animal negligence and had its animals taken away. Neither Lala nor the race horse – which was being housed at the zoo by a private owner – had been at the other zoo, according to authorities.

Tests are being conducted on samples taken from Lala and the horse to aid in the investigation.

“The sun bear was caught and placed in [the zoo] because it damaged crops and was a threat to the safety of farmers,” Zaaba Zainol Abidin, a deputy director at the Malaysian Department of Wildlife and National Parks, told The Wall Street Journal.

The suspected poisonings happened only a month after worldwide attention focused on the suspected poisoning deaths of 14 pygmy elephants – an endangered species – at a Malaysian forest reserve.

The sun bear – known for a tan “necklace” on its chest – has rapidly declined in population as its habitat has been taken away by developers. But that is where its similarity ends with the pygmy elephant, which can never be legally hunted.

Three wildlife protection laws apply to the sun bear, according to Wong Siew Te, the CEO and founder of the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. In West Malaysia and Sabah, the sun bear is a “totally protected” species under the Wildlife Conservation Act of 2010, which applies to all of Malaysia, and the Wildlife Conservation Enactment of 1997, which is enforced only in Sabah. In Sarawak, the sun bear is a “protected” species under the Sarawak Wild Life Protection Ordinance of 1998, but hunters can kill them with a license issued by the Sarawak Forestry Department.

Mr. Wong argues that Lala should be treated as a “totally protected” sun bear due to her death in West Malaysia.

“The penalty should be significant [to anyone found guilty of her suspected poisoning] to deter future offenders,” Mr. Wong told The Wall Street Journal in an email reply to questions.

The penalty can be up to five years imprisonment and a fine.

Meanwhile, in the suspected elephant poisonings, Raymond Alfred, the head of research at the Borneo Conservation Trust, a state-mandated non-governmental organization in Sabah, is calling for a ban on the use of chemical-based pesticides and herbicides near protected forests.

“We suspect the source of the poison could be due to the pesticide or herbicides, which is based on our knowledge of the elephants ranging, sources of food, etcetera,” Mr. Alfred said.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Martin Lugu, who is leading an investigation into the deaths of the elephants, said investigators “hope to wrap it up soon.”

Cops on the trail of animal killers

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2013/2/19/nation/12729177&sec=nation

Tuesday February 19, 2013

By R.S.N. MURALI
[email protected]

 

‘Crime scene’: Malacca Zoo director Azman Ghazali pointing out where the bear was found poisoned and dead.

‘Crime scene’: Malacca Zoo director Azman Ghazali pointing out where the bear was found poisoned and dead.

 

MALACCA: The hunt is on for the killers of a 14-year-old female Malayan Sun Bear and an Arabian stallion at the Malacca Zoo.

Visitors alerted the zoo keepers when they saw a male Sun Bear lying protectively over the still body of its partner at about 5pm on Sunday.

“The keepers rushed to the site and found the animal lifeless,” said zoo veterinarian Dr Zubaidah Kamarudin.

A post-mortem revealed that the bear had eaten a banana laced with toxin.

malacca-zoo-elephants-cages-n5

Jumbo problem: The animal enclosures at Malacca Zoo are set up in a way that allows anyone to gain access into them.

An autopsy is yet to be performed on the 17-year-old horse “Basket” which was found dead by groomer P. Lohan around 7am yesterday.

“We have yet to identify the type of poison used but have lodged a police report,” Dr Zubaidah added.

She also said poison-laced oranges, bananas and sugar canes were found in the enclosures of a chimpanzee and two orang utans, which are believed to have refused to eat them because of the pungent smell. The feed has been sent to the Chemistry Department.

The zoo is not taking any chances. “We are monitoring the condition of the animals round the clock,” added Dr Zubaidah.

State CID deputy chief expressed confidence in catching the culprits soon.

He declined to elaborate but sources said police were looking for two former zoo workers seen at the elephants’ enclosure on Sunday trying to feed the animals.

“They ran off carrying a package when ex-colleagues spotted them,” a source said.

The sources believe the two were linked to private zoo operators.

malacca-zoo-signboard-n5

Clear reminder: A signboard warning visitors not to feed the animals.

It is learnt that the Sun Bear was presented to the Malacca Zoo in 2000 after it was caught in the wilds of Johor.

The owner of the stallion had kept the horse at the zoo and it was not one of the exhibits.

The Malacca Zoo and Night Safari, sited on a 21.22ha zoological park, is the second biggest zoo in the country after Zoo Negara.

It has over 1,200 species of animals made up of 215 different types of birds as well as mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

The major attractions at the zoo include the critically-endangered Sumatran Rhinoceros, Malayan Sun Bear, Malayan Gaur Oxen, Serow and the Malayan Tiger.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam has offered an RM10,000 reward to anyone providing information leading to the arrest of the culprits.

He also asked the zoo management to install CCTVs immediately.

Related Stories:
Perhilitan sends team to probe deaths
Animal activists and conservationists see red

 

 

 

 

animal-tales-malacca-zoo-n1

 

Medicine practitioners urged to help reduce bear bile demand

http://www.traffic.org/home/2012/11/16/medicine-practitioners-urged-to-help-reduce-bear-bile-demand.html

Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia 16th November 2012—“Traditional medicine practitioners have a crucial role to play in reducing the demand for bear bile and gallbladder that drives the illegal trade in South-East Asia’s bears,” TRAFFIC told delegates to the 9th World Congress of Chinese Medicine held in Kuching, Sarawak in Malaysia last week.

The Congress, one of the industry’s most important annual gatherings, serves as a platform for specialists from all over the world to present the latest developments in Chinese medicine. The theme of this year’s Congress was Traditional Chinese Medicine—contributing factor to the harmony of humans and nature.

Speaking at the Congress, TRAFFIC Deputy Regional Director in South-East Asia, Dr Chris R. Shepherd, described how TRAFFIC’s research had shown that continued demand for traditional medicines made from bear parts and derivatives posed a severe threat to wild bear populations in Asia.

Both bear species in South-East Asia—the Asian Black Bear Ursus thibetanus and Sun Bear Helarctos malayanus—are hunted, especially for their gallbladder, which contains bile—a key ingredient in some traditional medicines.

A 2011 TRAFFIC study, Pills, Powders, Vials & Flakes: The bear bile trade in Asia (PDF, 1 MB), had shown such trade to be widespread, often carried out openly, despite it being illegal, and revealed that many of the farms supplying bear gallbladder and bile are stocking their facilities with wild-caught bears and not captive bred ones as often claimed.

Surveys have repeatedly found China to be the main source of the bear bile products on sale throughout South-East Asia. Such international trade in South-East Asian bears, and their parts and derivatives, is strictly prohibited by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Both South-East Asian bear species are listed in Appendix I of the Convention, which prohibits international commercial trade. They are also both listed as Vulnerable by IUCN, because of their declining populations in the wild.

In September 2012, a Motion to phase out bear bile extraction facilities stocked with wild-caught bears was overwhelmingly passed at the IUCN World Conservation Congress, held in Jeju, South Korea.

The Motion also recommended Parties to CITES to implement fully the legislation to prevent illegal international trade in Asian Black and Sun Bears and products derived from them, and promote greater public awareness of these issues to reduce the demand for bear products.

“While the IUCN Motion is a step in the right direction, it is absolutely critical too that efforts be made to reduce greatly the demand for bear bile. In addition to increased enforcement efforts, active participation from the traditional medicine practitioners and retailers is essential to meet this goal,” said Shepherd.

TRAFFIC is also urging authorities to step up their efforts to shut down the illegal trade, and ensure those violating CITES and national legislations are penalized.

“There are legal herbal alternatives to bear bile – consumers need to be made aware of this and be persuaded to stop using medicine containing bear bile,” added Shepherd.

 

Man finds sun bear cub outside his home

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=%2F2012%2F11%2F3%2Fnation%2F12269262&sec=nation

Saturday November 3, 2012

Surprising discovery: A Sabah Civil Defence personnel holding the sun bear cub after they captured it at a house in Kota Kinabalu.

 

KOTA KINABALU: The non-stop barking of his dog made a 38-year-old businessman step out of his house to take a look.

Blue Lum saw what looked like a puppy in his car porch.

“I left it alone and went in to watch television,” he said.

When the barking continued, Lum’s son went out to look and was shocked to discover there was a sun bear cub outside.

Lum said he immediately asked his son to come back into the house and then called the Civil Defence Department.

Kota Kinabalu Civil Defence Department officer Mohd Hazle Shah Hamid said a call was received at about 10pm and officers were immediately despatched to capture the cub.

“It was not violent when our officers carried it and put it in a cage.

“We suspect the sun bear cub was being kept by someone as it was unlikely to have wandered here from the forest,” he said.

Rangers from the Lok Kawi Zoo arrived about an hour later and the cub is now in their care.

The sun bear or honey bear is found in the tropical rainforest of peninsula Malaysia and the islands of Sumatra and Borneo.

 

An Un-bear-able trade

Report from http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/2012/01/17/an-un-bear-able-trade/

An Un-bear-able trade

Stephanie Sta Maria  | <!–

January 17, 2012

–>January 17, 2012

Bear farming is rife in Asia with Malaysia as one of its prime product producers and consumers.

VIDEO INSIDE

Louis Ng is no stranger to close encounters with animals in distress. But nothing quite prepared him for the emotional exchange with an adult bear outside a bear farm in Laos.

A film-maker had stumbled upon the farm and contacted Ng, the co-founder and executive director of Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) in Singapore.

When he visited the farm in November 2009, the sight that greeted him was that of a female bear lying motionless in a cage.

The owner explained that she was refusing food and starving herself to death so he had left her outside to meet her inevitable end. Ng crouched near but a safe distance from the cage and watched her.

After a few minutes the bear, who was on her 10th day of hunger strike pushed a limp paw through the cage bars and weakly flexed her claws in Ng’s direction. He realised with a start that she was reaching for his hand. And so he gave it to her.

The two “held hands” in silence for a few minutes. Ng remembers the bear’s eyes being flooded with both anguish and gentleness. She died the next day.

In a world where dignity is sometimes only delivered by death, this bear was the lucky one. She died after three years of living on that farm.

Over 12,000 other bears will serve up to 10 years of their lives in similar farms throughout Asia where they will “contribute” their bile to meet the region’s unsatiable demand for its healing properties.

Horrific procedure

“This farm had 29 bears in cages just large enough for them to stand up,” Ng said. “All you hear when you walk inside is the constant banging of heads against those cages.”

Solitude, pain and fear have literally driven the bears mad. Their only outlet is to ram their heads against their tiny prison cells or starve themselves to death.


At this point anything is preferable to the horrific procedure of having their gall bladder drained of bile twice a day to fuel a growing trade.

The medical use of bear bile dates back to the Tang Dynasty in 659 AD. Its only therapeutic component is ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) which makes up 15% to 39% of bile in bears compared to its 5% in humans.

Bear bile was traditionally used for gastric bypass surgery and to treat minor ailments like sore throats, sprains and epilepsy. As the bile was taken from the intact gall bladders of bears killed in the wild, the absence of torture eased consumers’ minds.

But the supply was meagre and led to high prices on bear bile medicines. Consumers had also began rejecting bile in pharmaceutical products for its synthetic origins which gave rise to demand for wild-sourced bile from live bears.

In the 1970s, South Korea invented a method of extracting bile from live bears. It was cruel, excruciating and the golden ticket to a booming trade.

“The bile is removed from the bear by inserting a catheter tube through a permanent incision in the abdomen and gall bladder,” Ng said. “Sometimes a permanently implanted metal tube is used.”

Dual role

Imagination eliminates the need to describe the pain that comes with this practice. Most bears are too weak or crazed to protest but those that do face a worse punishment.

“One cub took a swipe at the farmer,” Ng said. “The height of its cage was halved so it could only lie on its back.”

“It soon started gnawing on its own paw which is what happens when bears lose their minds. Often they end up chewing their own limbs off.”

But none of these details reach the ears of the Korean, Taiwanese, Chinese and Malaysian consumers who frequent the 124 Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) shops in Malaysia.

A 2010 report by wildlife trade monitoring network, TRAFFIC, found that while China is the prime origin for bear bile products in Asia, Malaysia is among a string of Asian countries that play the dual role of producer and consumer.

What most concerns Matt Hunt, chief executive of Free The Bears Fund in Australia, about the report is that a significant number of Malaysia’s TCM shops were found to be selling wild-sourced bear gall bladders.

“This means that Sun bears in Malaysian forests are being hunted to feed this trade,” he pointed out. “The Sun bears are an important part of Malaysia’s forest eco-systems and these traders are robbing future Malaysians of their cultural inheritance.”

“The bear bile pills, flakes and ointments in Malaysian TCM shops were found to have originated in Malaysia itself, which is a breach of international agreements on bear trade.”

Illegal status

According to Ng, the price of a gall bladder costs as much as a packet of heroin in the black market. Consumers fork out about RM730 for 127g while one milligram of bile is priced at RM60. Each extraction from a live bear yields 10 milligram of bile.

Malaysian TCM shopowners and staff interviewed by TRAFFIC Malaysia revealed that a majority of the gall bladders sold were wild-sourced and that they were aware of its illegal status.

This ambivalence is bad news for the Asiatic Black bears, Sun bears and Brown bears, the three species who are hunted for their parts.

The Asiatic and Sun bears are already given the “vulnerable” status and the director of TRAFFIC, Chris Shepherd, confirmed that the latter is being killed in Malaysia for local consumption and smuggling.

“Bear farming is also spreading with more farms opening in Laos and Myanmar,” he said.

“TRAFFIC has encouraged a clampdown on TCM outlets and wild meat restaurants in Malaysia but more awareness is needed among consumers.”

“The police and customs departments have to be more involved in combating wildlife trade and you can judge the level of enforcement with the level of open availablity of products.”

The single spark of hope for now is surprisingly Laos where bear farming is outlawed and the government reportedly is exercising its political muscle to reverse the cycle.

Rescue centre

Free The Bears Fund and ACRES are currently in talks with the Laotian government on efforts to rescue the bears and eventually close down the many Laotian farms.

“Many more farmers are moving into Laos following the clampdown in their countries,” Ng said. “A second-generation of bear farming is now taking place there. But our work with the government is very positive.”

“I personally don’t think the farmers are born with a cruel hand. They are just poor people who are looking for money and who have grown immune to the condition of those farms.”

Ng is in the midst of setting up a rescue centre in Laos on a five-hectare site with a 12-room building for volunteers and two enclosures measuring one hectare each to accommodate 29 bears.

Not only will the bears be rescued but they will also be put through a rehabilitation process to help them adapt to a community after being in solitary confinement for so long.

The RM1.5-million facility is expected to be ready for volunteers by June. It will be a big step forward on a still long road towards saving Asia’s bear population.

Ng’s passion for animal rights is hardly surprising for someone who received the Outstanding Young Persons of Singapore Award in 2007.

But if you ask him today, he would attribute the current ferocity of his passion to the female bear that he met outside the first Laotian farm.

“Any human treated that way would have spitted at you but this bear offered her paw,” he said quietly. “And her death was the only choice she made for herself in her life. It shouldn’t be in vain.”

Zoo cries foul over ‘loss’ of bears

Original posted at http://news.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Malaysia/Story/A1Story20110927-301721.html

20110927_105546_110927-bear

By T.N. Alagesh
New Straits Times
Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011

TEMERLOH – A private animal park in Lanchang here has been suffering losses because its main attraction — three Malayan sun-bears — were taken away by the state National Parks and Wildlife Department (Perhilitan) last week.

The animals, two males and one female, had been at the Deerland Park since it opened in 2004, luring hundreds of visitors every week.

Of the three bears, 13-year-old Muda had been drawing the largest crowd as it was very friendly and would allow visitors to rub his big belly while he enjoyed the milk and nuts offered to him.

However, the mini zoo was affected by the newly-implemented Wildlife Conservation Act 2010, which required private zoo owners who could not meet the specifications to surrender their endangered animals to the department.

Zoo owner Abdullah Ahmad Mahmood is upset with Perhilitan’s decision.

He told the New Straits Times yesterday that after the bears were taken away, the park had lost its appeal and suffered a drop in visitors as tour agents said the animals were the main attraction.

“Some tourists who visited the zoo claimed they had been cheated.

“Tourists claim that the brochures and the websites shown by the tour agents included feeding and taking pictures with Muda as part of the activities, but none of the bears are here.”

Abdullah said the mini zoo, which was just a stone’s throw from Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary near here, attracted some 70,000 visitors every year, including ministers and even members of the Pahang royal family.

The 4ha park at the edge of the Krau Forest Reserve was also home to several other animals, including a herd of deer — ranging from full-grown ones to fawns, an albino python and various birds, including peacocks and peahens.

State Perhilitan director Khairiah Mohd Shariff said only the Perhilitan Consultancy Division in the headquarters could comment on the matter.

However, when contacted, the Consultancy Division wanted a written list of questions.

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Deerland Park: Traveller Reviews

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g298291-d1235143-r94455369-Deerland_Park-Pahang.html

“Cruel treatment to Sun Bear – do not support this Zoo”
 Reviewed 26 January 2011
1
person found this review helpful

When our driver told us we’d be going to Deerland and that the main attraction was a ‘honey bear’ my partner and I had immediate doubts and pushed him to tell us more about how he is cared for and his living conditions. Our driver assured us it was fine and that we would not be seeing any mistreatment.

The second I saw the beer my heart broke. The owner was distracting him by feeding him sugar cookies and honey – even making him lie down and pouring honey on his belly to make him lick it. We were told to pat the bear and his coat was so sticky and the skin on his stomach, chest and underside of his legs was irritated and had clearly been untreated for a length of time.

We were then told that this bear needed a break. For the next half hour while we were at the zoo he was left in his pen in full sun with no water. He was pacing and clearly uncomfortable. He had no where to bathe and no ‘regular beer food’ to eat. The bear was so overweight I can’t help wondering if he has ever been fed food from his natural diet.

There was also female bear was in a tiny cage and also clearly distressed. According to the owner she is ‘aggressive’ so they don’t let her out.

What I saw is haunting me and will be reported to WSPA.

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“Am i the only person who finds this cruel?”
 Reviewed 17 September 2010
1
person found this review helpful

I went to deerland as part of a tour to the Elephant orphange and so therefore it was not a planned trip. It has to be said, given the choice I wouldn’t have gone, and really wish i hadn’t. i found it rather upsetting.

The deer at deerland were perfectly happy, as were some of the other animals, however I found the attraction of feeding a male sunbear with honey mixture, whilst the female was locked in a small cage, disturbing to say the least. These are wild animals, and certainly shouldn’t be kept in small enclosures and overfed to allow for tourist photographs “with the animals”. The monkeys were also quite obviously distressed and in cages far too small for them. Their pacing round in circles was distressing. As was the fact the bear cub had been separated from his parents and so was isolated and without stimulation. These are intelligent creatures and require stimuslus to stop them getting depressed. I’m sure the keepers did love the animals, but they don’t have the correct facilities to care for them.

I found this place really sad and refused to have my photo taken with a bear. it just felt too wrong.

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“This place is appalling, cruel, and should have been shut down long ago”
Reviewed 13 September 2011

I find it difficult to imagine any ‘positive’ reviews on here are anything but propaganda by parties with a vested interested in this park.

The negative reviewers here are correct – I’ve written elsewhere regarding this park and can’t believe nothing has been done about it yet. The deer seemed to be okay as they’re relatively easy to care for, but the captive bears just bring tears to the eye. When I visited they also had lots of domestic-type house cats – though feral I think – living in cages! Also a couple of small monkeys (macaques) in miserable little aviary-structures with no stimulation whatsoever. It just broke my heart.

Who could ever think this is acceptable, let alone ‘fun’ to visit?!

  • Visited October 2010

===========================================

From 8am to 5pm …

Posted on 19 September 2011 – 05:00am Azrina Abdullah

WHAT a busy few months it has been for Malaysia as it has yet again been pushed into the international wildlife spotlight. Aside from 1,764 elephant tusks seized by customs since July in Johor, Penang and Selangor (bad), there was also the rescue of animals this month from deplorable conditions in two Johor zoos after years of pressure from NGOs (good).

In addition, there was a troubling find of 12 snares in August near the East-West Highway, and other evidence to suggest that the Belum-Temengor Forest Reserve is increasingly becoming a poacher’s haven, including those from Thailand and Cambodia (bad).

Much has been said about the lack of enforcement where wildlife is concerned because it is not a priority and in most cases, budget is sorely lacking to ensure enforcement officers have adequate resources to do their job well.

And after each criticism, the agencies always respond to say they have beefed up border controls and increased patrols across the peninsula. Then I read the response of Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) state director for Perak on the comment by two NGOs that her enforcement personnel had slackened in their patrols of the Belum-Temengor Forest Reserve.

She stated that this comment was not true because her officers patrol the East-West Highway points from 8am to 5pm every day. Yes, you read that right – 8am to 5pm. Is there something wrong with this statement? Does the director think poachers only hunt during office hours? If I was a poacher, this is a too good to be true statement – enter the forest after 5pm because no officers will catch me.

I am praying that this is a misquote by the reporter as it sends a despairing message to those working to save the Belum-Temengor Forest Reserve that Perhilitan is not serious about protecting our precious wildlife.

It does make you wonder how this matches with the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry’s statements over the years that it has “increased patrols, beefed up security and enforcement staff”. If 8am-5pm patrols are what the ministry meant by “increased patrols”, it is no surprise that poaching in Belum-Temengor Forest Reserve is worsening.

The director also defended her department by saying the forest reserve is under the jurisdiction of the state, and not the department. Therefore, there are restrictions to what her officers can do. More excuses.

Perhilitan has mentioned repeatedly that the public plays an important role in providing enforcement agencies information on illegal wildlife activities.

What good would it do if we keep providing information but no action is taken because state and federal agencies cannot work together?

Granted that there are matters which the state and federal agencies cannot see eye-to-eye but will the issue of jurisdiction be the end of the Belum-Temengor Forest and its inhabitants as armed foreign poachers continue to pillage our biodiversity?

Their intrusion also poses a threat to our national security?

Azrina Abdullah is conducting research on the links between indigenous groups and the wildlife trade. Comments: [email protected]

Man held for keeping exotic pets

Original posted at http://www.nst.com.my/nst/articles/08bear/Article

BERUANG MATAHARI / JAYA GADING
KUANTAN: A villager may have to pay a high price for his passion for exotic pets and sheer ignorance of wildlife law.

The odd-job worker, in his 50s, was arrested on Thursday by a team from the state Wildlife and National Parks Department for having a Malayan sun bear at his home in Kampung Padang Jaya here.

He also faces a maximum fine of RM50,000 or two years’ imprisonment or both, for keeping various species of protected birds at his home.

The team raided his house following a tip-off.

State Perhilitan director Khairiah Mohd Shariff said during the raid, Perhilitan officers found a female sun bear kept in a cage outside his house.

They also found seven murai batu (white-rumped shama), two burung daun (leafbirds) and a burung punai (emerald dove).

The white-rumped shama birds were kept in a big cage while others were placed in individual cages. A pair of deer antlers was also found in the house.

It was understood that the man had been keeping the sun bear as a pet since five years ago.

The man claimed he had been keeping the exotic birds as a hobby.

He claimed he did not know that it was an offence to keep them as pets.

Khairiah said the man might be charged under the recently-amended Wildlife Conservation Act 2010, which provided for stiffer penalties for offenders.

She said the department was concerned that many people were still unaware of the amendments to the act as many people had been found to be keeping protected animals, including civet cats and squirrels.

She reminded the public to contact the department if they were unsure of the status of the animals as “the department will not compromise with such offences”.

There are 2,120 protected endangered species and sub-species under the new law, with several non-endangered animals, such as wild boar and monkeys, also protected to preserve the natural habitat.

The amendment also provides for stiffer penalties, including mandatory jail up to five years and a fine between RM100,000 and RM500,000 for offences involving protected wildlife such as tigers, rhinoceros, serows (a type of goat), gaur (seladang), leopards, clouded leopards and false gharial (a type of freshwater crocodile).