The Borneo Post (Sabah)

Woman fined RM15,000 for having endangered sun bear


KOTA KINABALU: A woman was fined RM15,000, in default four months’ jail, for keeping a sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) since 2015 without permission.

Cheryline William Muyuk, 48, pleaded guilty before Sessions Court Judge Elsie Primus for having the endangered species at a house in Kg Taginambur, Jalan Kota Belud-Ranau, Kota Belud, on Sept 13, 2019, at 12.55pm.

The unemployed woman committed an offence under Section 40 (2) of the Wildlife Conservati­on Enactment 1997 which is punishable under Section 40(3) of the Wildlife Conservati­on Enactment (Amendment) 2016 which provides for a fine of up to RM50,000 or jail term of up to two years, or both, upon conviction.

The sun bear is an endangered species which is fully protected under the Wildlife Conservati­on Enactment 1997.

According to the facts of the case, enforcemen­t personnel from the Wildlife Department went to the accused’s house after receiving informatio­n from the public pertaining to the protected animal there.

The team found the sun bear inside a cage after a search at the back of the house. They then confiscate­d the sun bear as the accused failed to show any permit.

During mitigation, the unrepresen­ted accused told the court that she wanted to protect the sun bear upon learning the previous owner intended to take the species elsewhere.

The mother of four claimed that she wanted to hand over the animal but was too busy managing the family.

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