KUCHING: Nine individuals are being investigated in connection with the death of a giant male python that was featured in a video that went viral on social media on Jan 8.
They were questioned by Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) officers who were promptly despatched to Lingga in Sri Aman Division to conduct the probe from Jan 8 to 12.
SFC, in a media statement yesterday, said the case was being investigated under Section 29(2) of the Wild Life Protection Ordinance, 1998 as python is a protected species.
According to SFC, the investigating team took four hours to travel from here to Lingga ― 30 minutes by boat to the area and 3km on foot through a muddy forest ― to the location at Sg Sekupang where the carcass of the 5.5-metre python was abandoned.
“As the weather was bad, by the time investigators arrived, the carcass had rotted and was full of worms. Still, they managed to collect the scales, pieces of skin, bone fragments, and worms for analysis.
SFC said any person who hunts, kills, captures, sells, offers for sale or claims to offer for sale, import, export, or is in possession of, any protected animal or any recognisable part or derivative thereof, or any nest thereof, except under and in accordance with the terms and conditions of a license issued under the Ordinance, shall be guilty of an offence.
Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Assistant Minister Datuk Len Talif Salleh said a guilty offender could be jailed for a year and fined RM10,000.
He, therefore, advised the public not to handle dangerous wildlife by themselves.
“Report immediately to the authority concerned. The SFC hotlines are 0168565564/0198859996 (Kuching), 0198883561 (Sibu), 0198223449/0198332737 (Bintulu) and 0198290994/0189799778 (Miri),” he said.