Birdlovers grieve for Faridah
by Cecilia Sman
Photos by Cecilia Sman and MNS members
Under the Wild Life Protection Ordinance (1998) the penalties for keeping a hornbill as a pet, killing, hunting, capturing, selling, trading or disturbing them, or possessing any recognisable parts of these animals are severe – a RM25,000 fine and three years’ imprisonment.
ALTHOUGH only a bird to some, Faridah’s tragic death as one of the totally protected species of hornbills sent shockwaves throughout the state.
A cross section of people interviewed as well as Facebook (FB) users have expressed anger and regret over the heinous crimes of the poachers, their open defiance of the law and also called for intensified efforts to conserve the family of hornbills and other wildlife at Piasau Camp.
A majority urged that stiffer penalties be imposed on offenders to deter would-be offenders and also protect the birds from extinction.
Under the Wild Life Protection Ordinance (1998) the penalties for keeping one as a pet, killing, hunting, capturing, selling, trading or disturbing them, or possessing any recognisable parts of these animals are severe – a RM25,000 fine and three years’ imprisonment.
Miri Parliamentarian, Dr. Michael Teo said the punishment should be significant and widely reported to deter potential offenders and raise more awareness.
“The Department of Wildlife and National Park should set up a team to investigate the death because the public are very concerned over the death and they must come up with preventive solution to avoid this repeating in the future,” Teo said.
Besides wildlife officials, they need the help of caring, compassionate outdoorsmen as wildlife belongs to the people. Poachers set out to exploit animals with the knowledge that they probably will not be caught.
“The department should also share all information on poachers and citizens taking their own role to protect wildlife seriously, we can stop this killer,” he stressed.
Pork seller, Yii Shi Yiing suggested that non-governmental organisations including religious bodies as well as schools take leading role in increasing greater awareness on the needs to protect and conserved the protected and totally protected wildlife.
“NGOs including churches, JKKKS as well as schools should carry out awareness programmes. We cannot allow the poachers to kill the hornbill – our state iconic bird – for fun,” Yii said.
Naturalist, Lucas Johny said he was shocked to hear that Faridah was brutally killed although there had been intensified public awareness programmes held to help save the hornbills at Piasau Camp and also to make it a permanent nature park.
“It was such a pitiful sight seeing the front page of the Borneo Post today (yesterday), that Faridah was killed and dumped in among the rubbish by heartless people. We learnt that lately the hornbills made their homes at Piasau Camp because of the rich flora and fauna. I hoped more would come,” Lucas said.
FB users, meanwhile also showed their utmost displeasure on the heinous killing of Faridah last Tuesday at Piasau Garden by the three suspects.
- These 3 blady men should be punished severely..otherwise it will never be learnt by others on their doings…very sad n very inhuman act….devils as a matter of fact…but to my point of it…justice must be made for Faridah no matter what. – Manjeet Sidhu
- The poachers and the “murderers” deserve both punishment, RM25,000 and 3 months imprisonment, and perhaps, 3 strokes of rotan. Let them feel how Faridah felt when she was tortured by them…. some people have no compassion for nature.! – Sue Hj Abdullah
- Why?? They kill the beautiful birds and just dumped Faridah like rubbish. Hope this “3 animals” will be punished. So sad.– Malcolm Eju
- The poacher should be paraded through Miri City with the dead bird around his neck.– Ambrose Munai
- Place that 3 animals on the top of those trees. Maybe they envy the nice resettlement of the hornbills. Let them try.– Sekeran Arahman
- Is this what we are leaving for our future generations? The authorities should look into the conservation and protection of such habitat before it is too late. To the people representative(s) – make it a point to bring up the matter to the DUN/Parliament sittings. Act now before our beloved hornbills as well as other creatures become extinct. – Sofie T ST
- It’s not the matter of insufficient education, it’s the negative mind set and selfishness! It’s in the school text books. They read and forget. It’s just like leaving rubbish rampantly. Everyone knows how to deal with it but not everyone will do the right thing! – Juriah Abdullah
- Kudos, hope this never happen again. Let it be a lesson for other poachers. – Mohd Hafidz Rohani.
- Good job rescuing the helpless. – Maria Leelavathi Joseph