Eagles, slow loris and sea-turtle eggs seized in raid

KUCHING: Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) has rescued two live eagles and one slow loris and seized 70 sea-turtle eggs in three different operations conducted near here.

In a statement issued yesterday, SFC said its enforcement team arrested a 47-year old Indonesian woman found to be in possession of 70 sea-turtle eggs while patrolling the Serikin Market on June 1.

“The suspect who was caught red-handed displaying the eggs for sale was subsequently brought to the police station for further action,” it added.

The 70 sea-turtle eggs found in the possession of an Indonesian woman.

Meanwhile on June 8, the enforcement team rescued two live eagles at a premises located in Serikin.

The Fish Eagle and the Crested Serpent Eagle which are protected and non-protected species were found kept in a large enclosed cage.

“Nobody was found in the vicinity during the raid. The eagles were sent to Matang Wildlife Centre for quarantine before being released back into the wild,” said SFC yesterday.

The two live eagles (elang) which were rescued from a premises in Serikin.

SFC chief executive officer (CEO) Zolkipli Mohamad Aton said, “The penalty for anyone who hunts, kills, keeps, sells or consume protected animal such as the eagle is one-year imprisonment and RM10,000 fine.

“In the case of the sea-turtle which is a totally protected wildlife in Sarawak, the maximum fine is RM50,000 and five years’ jail.”

Zolkipli continued, “This is our continuous and long-term commitment in addressing illegal wildlife trade and crime to safeguard the flora and fauna in Sarawak.

“It includes instilling awareness and realisation in the minds of the public at large that wildlife are best left undisturbed in the wild as part of the forest communities and not as pets.”

He added that a Slow Loris (ungkang) was surrendered by a member of the public to SFC on June 2.

Members of the public with information on the wildlife trade are encouraged to report through Sarawak Forestry’s hotlines in Kuching (019-8859996, 016-8565564), Sibu (019-8190140, 019-8894474), Bintulu (019-8223449, 019-8332737), or Miri (019-8224566, 019-8290994).