PETALING JAYA: Residents of a housing area in Seremban had a shock yesterday when a wild bear was seen roaming the streets in the neighbourhood.
The creature, believed to be a juvenile Malayan sun bear, was spotted walking around Taman Palma Jaya Perdana in the afternoon.
The Peninsular Malaysia wildlife and national parks department (Perhilitan), which was alerted about the matter, immediately rushed a team to the area, and upon finding the animal managed to safely capture it.
No one was reported to be injured in the incident.
Negeri Sembilan Perhilitan director Wan Mat Wan Harun was quoted by Utusan Online today as saying that residents first became aware of the bear’s presence at about noon.
They had first called the civil defence department to help catch it while messages were circulated among the local community to stay indoors and steer clear of the area.
“Three officials from the wildlife management unit of Perhilitan’s Seremban office rushed to the housing area upon being informed by the civil defence team that had arrived earlier to snare the animal,” he said.
He said after the bear was successfully removed, the department brought it to its facility to be given food and rest.
“We will be transporting it to the national wildlife rescue centre in Sungkai, Perak,” he said.
Wan Mat said the animal was believed that have wandered from the Berembun forest reserve not far from the location where it was found near the Paroi area in Seremban.
Increasing development has seen Seremban’s urban boundaries expanding to encroach into a dense rainforest east of the city which is connected to the jungles around the Sungai Terip dam and beyond.
Wild sun bears have recently been reported to have strayed into rural plantations and estates on the fringes of jungle terrains, but not into any city area as had happened yesterday.
Also known as the honey bear, the species, which has been given the scientific name helarctos malayanus, is listed as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to large-scale deforestation throughout Southeast Asia, including Malaysia.