Remember back in June when a local celebrity had mistaken a sun bear for a dog and kept it in her condominium in Kuala Lumpur like a pet?
Of course, nobody bought her 'mistake' because frankly, it sounds like nonsense.
Three months later, we are unhappy to report that another sun bear has been found locked up
in a home. This time in Kuching, Sarawak
According to Bernama
, someone spotted the animal enclosed in a cage made of steel bars that barely had enough space for it to move around.
This was quickly shared on Facebook and the post started spreading like wildfire.
But that was not the worst part. It was later discovered that the sun bear has been caged up for the past seven years
and had a permit
to do so!
When the Facebook user lodged a report with the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC), she was told that the owner did have a permit issued by the Forest Department Sarawak (FDS), renewed on a yearly basis.
Despite that, Malaysia Nature Society national council member Musa Musbah had ground contacts who went to the house in Demak Laut to check on the sun bear.
They found the animal to be in obvious distress as it kept biting on the steel bars and described the cage as a "tiny hell". It looked like it was attempting to free itself from captivity.
"I pray that the state authorities will rescue this poor animal. Sarawak must stop such cruelty to animals," he said.
The sun bear is listed as a protected animal, so according to wildlife policy, members of the public are not allowed to keep bears contained because they are categorised as ferocious and there are only a limited number left in the wild.
Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) director-general Datuk Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim told Bernama
that the bear could grow up to 100kg.
World Wide Fund for Nature Malaysia also said in a statement that the sun bear should be surrended to the authorities for rehabilitation as soon as possible because it is not currently in its natural habitat.
"The sun bear should not have been kept as a pet in the first place. Sun bears require a large space for their daily activities, and can be active during the day and night. Small space restricts their movements and can be stressful for the animal," the statement read.
"Furthermore, sun bears display erratic behaviour at times, and can be dangerous. Therefore we should never keep this animal close to human populated areas. Animals that are kept in non-conducive environment should be surrendered to the authority, and not released anyhow into the wild."
We hope that the sun bear currently caged up will be passed on to the authorities soon because let us repeat again, they don't belong in our homes!