WWF: Orang asli being used
By YENG AI CHUN
Wednesday February 10, 2010
PETALING JAYA: Many middlemen are using orang asli to hunt for wildlife, including tigers, for their parts, said World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Malaysia.
Its chief executive Datuk Dr Dionysius Sharma said the authorities needed to step up their enforcement to protect the wildlife and to prevent orang asli from being exploited by these middlemen.
“The middlemen or syndicates find people to trap and kill for them because there is a demand for wildlife parts,” he said in response to an incident where a tiger was shot and left to die in a snare in Perak last week.
“We need to invest in more equipment and people. Our forests and reserve areas are very large and they are easily accessible due to logging roads and porous borders.
“If we don’t protect our tigers, who will?” he said.
In last week’s incident, an orang asli, Yok Meneh had claimed that he was attacked by the tiger while on his way to gather petai at the Bukit Tapah Forest Reserve last Saturday.
However, it was later found that he had been attacked while trying to kill the tiger which he had caught in a snare.
The animal carcass was later found by the Perak Wildlife and National Parks Department officers a day after the attack.
Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (Mycat) programme coordinator Loretta Ann Shepherd urged the authorities to come down hard on those responsible for the incident.
She said the death of the tiger must be investigated further so that not only those responsible in snaring and shooting it were brought to book, but also those who had ordered the killing.
She said that if the orang asli were truly involved in setting up the trap and killing the wildlife, they must be prosecuted.
“This would serve as a lesson for them and a deterrent to others. It is not the kind of news to start the Year of the Tiger.
“The law gives allowances to the orang asli to hunt animals but the tiger is not one of them. The orang asli know that it is illegal to kill tigers and they are not amateurs as it was also reported that they had captured and killed other protected animals,” she said.
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