When we think of sun bears, we’re reminded of the zoo since it’s the kind of animal we’d expect to see there — safe and protected.
On 6th June, the residents at Sentrio Suites Condominium in Desa Pandan, Kuala Lumpur, heard loud cries from a unit, as reported by The Star.
At first, residences thought it was a neighbour screaming, but it turned out that it was a baby sun bear poking its head out of a window and seemingly attempting to escape.
Several videos of the cub had gone viral on social media, leaving many questioning the odd incident.
One of the condominium residents called the authorities, and they arrived at the scene to investigate the said cub of the protected species. And on 8 June, the tenant who kept the cub in her apartment was arrested at her home by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia (Perhilitan) because it’s illegal to keep a bear as a pet in Malaysia.
It’s reported that the woman is a 27-year-old singer who claimed that she took the bear cub home because she found it injured. However, it was unclear how she smuggled the cub into the condominium. The singer, Zarith Sofia, was quoted by the Malay Mail as saying,
“Actually, I found the bear cub by the roadside in a weak condition at night. At first, I thought it was a dog.”
When the singer was caught, she couldn’t provide any proof or document of ownership for the bear, according to the Perhilitan Director-general Datuk Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim.
He had also confirmed with the press that the bear is currently under their care at their Kuala Lumpur headquarters. The singer is now being investigated for possessing a protected wild animal, according to NST.
The baby sun bear was said only to be about six months old.
The sun bear is a protected species under the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997, and it is listed as Vulnerable to Extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
We know baby bears are cute, but they’re not Grizz, Pan Pan and Ice Bear, so please don’t keep them as pets. If you’ve seen any bears or protected wild animals being possessed by your neighbours, please contact Perhilitan immediately!
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