After whales and tigers, sun bears make their presence felt in Terengganu
Last Update: 23/07/2019
KUALA TERENGGANU, July 23 (Bernama) -- There seems to be no stop to the streak of wildlife sightings in Terengganu in the past week.
Just days after killer whales and tigers made sudden appearances in the state's waters and in a rural village, three sun bears were seen roaming a Felda settlement here as well.
The sleuth of bears have been spotted in Felda Belara over the past two weeks forcing residents to seek help from the Terengganu Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan).
Following this, the department laid traps resulting in one of them being captured at 9.30pm last night.
Villager, Mustaffa Tahir, 76, was the first to discover the trapped bear, and said he first realised its presence after hearing noises coming from the back of his house the night before.
However, he was too afraid to venture out as the surroundings were too dark and hilly.
“The loud sounds of the cage trap rattling and snorts from the animal discouraged us from checking it out for fear that the animal could turn aggressive.
“So, very early the next day, my son and I went over and we saw a bear fast asleep in the trap,” he said when met by reporters at his house.
Mustaffa said he lost RM12,000 after the bears destroyed 19 stingless bee (kelulut) hives and six coconut trees belonging to him.
“The trap was just laid the evening before. Perhilitan moved it from the back of my neighbours’ house to mine after it failed to trap the bears.
“Maybe the bee hives used as bait did the trick this time around,” Mustaffa said.
For resident, Noriah Abdullah, there is still a lot to be worried about as there were two more sun bears on the loose in the area.
She said her family members had come across all three bears helping themselves to jackfruit at the back of their home about two weeks ago.
“I suspect they are part of a family as one was quite huge while the other two were smaller-sized,” she said.
Meanwhile, State Perhilitan Director Dr Abd Malek Mohd Yusof said the captured bear will be released into its natural habitat in Taman Negara as soon as it was certified healthy by the Veterinary Services Department.
He said more traps will be laid very soon to capture the two remaining sun bears, and advised residents to be vigilant, especially when they were in their smallholdings or deep in the jungle as sun bears can act aggressively if they feel threatened.
Last week a pair of killer whales appeared near the oil rigs off Terengganu's coast, while two tigers made huge news when they were caught on camera roaming Kampung Besul in Dungun, one of which has since been captured.