Pygmy Elephants face an Uncertain Future

Pygmy Elephants face an Uncertain Future

Every now and then reports of orphaned Bornean pygmy elephants being rescued by the Sabah Wildlife Department surface. These baby elephants have become lost while their mothers are nowhere to be seen. In the past seven years 22 baby elephants have been rescued this way. Many of them cannot survive,…

Fruit Waste Sprouts a Lush Forest

Fruit Waste Sprouts a Lush Forest

Costa Rica is a major producer of oranges, but local orange juice-making companies tend to have little use of orange peels. So in 1998 one of those juice makers dumped 12,000 tons of peels and leftover pulp on a barren 3-hectare swathe of former pastureland for cattle. Then everyone quickly…

Penang Coastal Reclamation Imbroglio

Penang Coastal Reclamation Imbroglio

Penang has a problem. Being a relatively small yet populous island, it has little land left for development. Yet the island’s government and private developers want to keep on building. So they are increasingly eyeing as yet undeveloped and underdeveloped patches of seashore and hillside. That, however, poses grave environmental…

Going to Jail for Using Plastic Bags?

Going to Jail for Using Plastic Bags?

Plastic bags. They are ubiquitous, aren’t they? They can be so convenient too. We’ve all been using them. Imagine, though, if you could be sent to jail for doing so. In the African nation of Kenya, people can now be jailed for using plastic bags. The country’s highest court has…

Poachers pose an Existential Threat to Sabah’s Biodiversity

Poachers pose an Existential Threat to Sabah’s Biodiversity

Unless poachers are stopped once and for all, they will drive several endangered species extinct in Sabah. “If these illegal hunting activities are not checked, the population of the protected and endangered wildlife species in the state will shrink in no time,” Dr Rahimatsah Amat, chief executive of the nonprofit…

Get on your Bike for Water in Ulu Muda

Get on your Bike for Water in Ulu Muda

Water. Malaysia has lots of it. That bounty has lulled many citizens into a false sense of complacence about the country’s water reserves. Yet Malaysia’s freshwater sources need to be managed better. Much better. If you would like to help spread that message, you will be able to do so…

The Alps are Crumbling. The culprit: Climate Change

The Alps are Crumbling. The culprit: Climate Change

The Alps are crumbling. The majestic mountains at the geographical heart of Europe are coming apart in places in full view of alarmed locals and concerned environmentalists. The culprit is the usual suspect. You guessed it: global warming. Rising temperatures in the Alps have been causing glaciers to melt. This…

A Man in Sarawak does the Right Thing and Turns in a Protected Animal

A Man in Sarawak does the Right Thing and Turns in a Protected Animal

Oftentimes it may seem like that all is gloom and doom about the environment. Poachers and traffickers remain unrelenting and many Malaysians seem oblivious of the threats facing the country’s endangered animals. Yet now and again citizens around the country do decide to do the right thing. A recent case…

Another Elephant Dies on the East-West Highway. For Shame

Another Elephant Dies on the East-West Highway. For Shame

Another day, another dead elephant. And to make matters worse, this latest casualty, too, has died under similar circumstances on the same road. Soon after a baby elephant died after being hit by a vehicle near Gerik in June, a grown bull elephant has now also perished after being hit…

Air Pollution is “Worse than You Think’

Air Pollution is “Worse than You Think’

We all know that burning sensation: acrid smog stings the eyes and irritates the throat. During the periodic haze from burning forests in Sumatra that envelopes much of Malaysia for days and weeks at a time, millions of Malaysians are exposed to massive amounts of harmful air-borne pollutants. Yet not…

‘Teach children’ to Love Animals

‘Teach children’ to Love Animals

Malaysians need to reevaluate their views of animals. Animals aren’t unfeeling and unthinking brutes as many people may take them to be. Rather, they’re sentient beings and ought to be treated as such. “Many humans today have yet to reach what we call ‘civilised thinking’ level when it comes to…

Dogs in India turn Blue … from Water Pollution

Dogs in India turn Blue … from Water Pollution

We’ve all seen blue dogs. We’ve seen them in cartoons and children’s books. Yet in Mumbai some residents were recently surprised to see real-life blue dogs walk the streets. In an industrial area of the Indian metropolis several stray dogs recently took on distinct bright blue hues. While the canines’ new…

In Praise of Malaysia’s Sun Bears

In Praise of Malaysia’s Sun Bears

Shambling gait? Tick. Mischievous personality? Tick. Boundless energy? Tick. Malayan sun bears (Helarctos malayanus) are among Malaysia’s most endearing creatures. So named for the reddish crescent-shaped marking on their chest, sun bears occupy much of mainland Southeast Asia, including Sumatra and Borneo. Yet we are seeing less and less of…

Two Dugongs make a Rare Appearance

Two Dugongs make a Rare Appearance

Dugongs are among Malaysia’s rarest animals. Yet now and again people get a chance to take a gander at them. Unfortunately, however, when that happens it may well mean that the elusive and shy creatures may be in trouble. And so it has proved with two dugongs that were sighted…