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4 nabbed, meat from protected animals seized in Sabah

 | November 14, 2017

Sabah Wildlife Department says its campaign has now spread inland from the state’s east coast in a bid to curb illegal poaching and smuggling of wild animal products.

Suspected deer meat seized from a lorry (Photo courtesy of Sabah Wildlife Department).

Suspected deer meat seized from a lorry (Photo courtesy of Sabah Wildlife Department).

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Wildlife Department has arrested four people in connection with meat from various protected animals that was seized on Sunday, in its intensified efforts to preserve the state’s wildlife.

Its director Augustine Tuuga said the department’s operations had now expanded inland following its swoop on turtle poachers on the east coast of Sabah last month.

On Sunday, a team from the department had raided a restaurant at Batu 2, Jalan Bulbul, Semporna, and seized the meat, believed to be from a bearded pig, flying fox, civet and pangolin, that was found in a freezer.

Augustine said further inspections around the premise had uncovered two live monitor lizards and two live reticulated pythons, also protected species, in cages.

The local owner of the restaurant is being investigated under Section 41(2) of the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997, he said in a statement today.

On Monday, a department unit that had set up a roadblock at Sungai Udin, Tawau, to inspect vehicles had found a lorry travelling from Kalabakan to Tawau containing suspected deer meat.

The driver and a passenger, aged 60 and 61 respectively, were detained under the enactment for carrying the meat without a permit.

Later, a four-wheel drive vehicle travelling towards Kalabakan that was stopped was also found to be transporting deer meat. Its 34-year-old driver was detained for further investigation.

Pangolins and turtles are among the “favourites” sought by exotic wildlife meat consumers, some of whom come from as far as China and are willing pay large amounts for the meat.

In September, the department’s investigation into a photo showing nine turtle carcasses on Pulau Bum-Bum led to the gruesome discovery of more than 100 turtle skeletons scattered in the area.

FMT reported earlier that exotic meat dinners had even become part of black-market tourism packages organised by unlicensed tour operators, a menace which both the tourism and wildlife authorities are trying to curb.

Stop taking tourists to wildlife dinners, warns department

Probe leads to gruesome find of 100 turtle skeletons

Wildlife Dept: Sabah won’t be major transit point for illegal wildlife trade

Turtle-poaching in Sabah islands: Man remanded

Wildlife dept to investigate after green turtles found butchered in Sabah


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