When will humans learn that we must take care of animals and the ecosystem. We all must live in harmony so that Earth will continue to thrive with life. Unfortunately, five men have recently been arrested after pictures of them with a dead clouded leopard went viral. The clouded leopard is considered a vulnerable animal on the IUCN Red List and requires protection.
Recently, five men, including some security guards, posed for pictures with a dead clouded leopard in Alor Gajah, Melaka. The pictures were then uploaded on Facebook and went viral all over the internet. The state Perhilitan (Jabatan Perlindungan Hidupan Liar dan Taman Negara) of Melaka is currently investigating.
Director of Melaka Perhilitan, Mohd Hasdi Husin had made a request for the men in the photos to step forward and provide them with a statement. This is to help the investigating team to determine the cause of death of the clouded leopard.
Once Perhilitan was aware of the viral photos and the clouded leopard’s death they reacted quickly. On the 8th of May, a group of officers went to the location, a farm in Kampung Kemuning, to investigate. There, they discovered a clouded leopard carcass that was buried on the farm.
The carcass was found to have injuries on its neck and foot. Its corpse was then brought back to Perhilitan in order to perform a postmortem. This is to further investigate the cause of death.
This case will be investigated and conducted under Section 68(2)(c) of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 [Act 716]. Under this act, if the men have been found and convicted of hunting without a permit then they will face consequences. This includes a maximum fine of RM500,000 as well as a sentence to jail for up to five years.
On the 9th of May, it was revealed that all the five men in the photos who are aged between 30 and 60 were arrested to aid in the investigation. Hopefully the Perhilitan investigative team will be able to conclude the cause of death of the poor animal. Action must be taken if it is found that the men were acting illegally. Let us all be better in how we treat animals, alive or dead.