The Online Sale of ‘Exotic’ Animals Carries On. It must be Stopped

The Online Sale of ‘Exotic’ Animals Carries On. It must be Stopped

Many Malaysians frequent Facebook, WhatsApp and other social media outlets to keep in touch with friends and relatives. Others, though, do so with a nefarious purpose: to buy and sell protected animals. Many of these animals are illegally traded “exotic” pets, which range from rare turtles to critically endangered hornbills,…

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…

Another Vietnamese Ivory Smuggler is Nabbed at KLIA

Another Vietnamese Ivory Smuggler is Nabbed at KLIA

And on and on it goes. The smuggling of ivory into and out of Malaysia, that is. Exasperating? You bet. Encouragingly, however, Malaysian officials tend to be on the ball and keep making arrest. The latest such arrest has involved that of a Vietnamese national who was trying to take…

Poachers in Sarawak boast about their Kills on Facebook. For Shame

Poachers in Sarawak boast about their Kills on Facebook. For Shame

You might think that Malaysian authorities’ stepped-up efforts to clamp down on poachers and wildlife traffickers have these wrongdoers on the run. Poachers and traffickers are cowering in fear of arrest, doing all they can to remain undetected. Right? Wrong. Some of the poachers clearly don’t give a hoot about…

Tiger poachers are Nabbed in Sumatra

Tiger poachers are Nabbed in Sumatra

Sumatran tigers are much like their Malayan cousins: they’re rare, majestic … and critically endangered in the wild. They share another thing in common: they’re frequently targeted by poachers. A case in point: Acting on a top-off, Indonesian authorities arrested two men for allegedly trafficking in the body parts of…

Hundreds of rare Tortoises from Madagascar are Discovered at KLIA

Hundreds of rare Tortoises from Madagascar are Discovered at KLIA

Another day, another seizure of exotic animals smuggled surreptitiously into Malaysia. This time alert customs officials seized 330 tortoises flown into Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), which has been serving as a favored destination for international smuggling syndicates. Acting on a tip-off, Malaysian officials discovered 325 Indian radiated tortoises and five ploughshare tortoises packed into…

Malaysian Officials must Stay Vigilant in the Face of rampant Trafficking

Malaysian Officials must Stay Vigilant in the Face of rampant Trafficking

Malaysia is a major gateway for international wildlife traffickers into Southeast Asia. We’ve long known that, of course, but just in case here is a reminder: The country, which boasts one of the most biodiverse but also most threatened environments on the planet, is “the world’s paramount ivory transit country, with its ports serving…

Rhino Horns continue to be Smuggled into Malaysia and Southeast Asia

Rhino Horns continue to be Smuggled into Malaysia and Southeast Asia

The shipment this time was from Mozambique, via Doha in Qatar, and consisted of 18 rhino horns. Alert Malaysian authorities at Kuala Lumpur International Airport managed to seize the horns, which amounted to 51.5kg and would have been worth almost RM14 million on the black market. Acting on a tip, Malaysian customs officers conducted a search of…

Time to get Tough on Animal Trafficking

Time to get Tough on Animal Trafficking

When even seasoned experts are taken aback by the scale of wildlife trafficking across Malaysia, you know we’re in trouble. Yet taken aback experts are at TRAFFIC, an international anti-trafficking watchdog. And rightfully so. Recent arrests of several wildlife traffickers by Malaysian authorities have provided further evidence (not that any more was…

Peacocks lose out to Traditional Medicine

Peacocks lose out to Traditional Medicine

Peacocks are flamboyantly ostentatious birds with giant iridescent tails of blue, green, gold and red that they deftly employ in courtship displays. Unfortunately for the birds, their flashy tail feathers have also caught the eyes of people. Peacocks have long been hunted as trophies and kept as pets. Sadly, the birds are…

Malaysian Officials rescue Scores of Animals from the Exotic Pet Trade

Malaysian Officials rescue Scores of Animals from the Exotic Pet Trade

Another five are down. Wildlife traffickers, that is. In five separate clampdowns on wildlife trafficking in later February, Malaysian authorities seized large numbers of endangered animals from wildlife traders, all of whom will be facing charges under the country’s Wildlife Conservation Act 2010. In one operation Department of Wildlife and…

Sniffing out Wildlife Traffickers

Sniffing out Wildlife Traffickers

Wildlife traffickers tend to be a wily lot. Routinely they can easily avoid wildlife and customs officials by hiding their ill-gotten merchandise of ivory and rhino horns in well-concealed packages. Enter canine wildlife guardians. With their acute sense of smell, which is a thousand times stronger than that of humans, so-called detector dogs are…

‘Most Wanted’ elephant Poachers have been Caught in Kelantan

‘Most Wanted’ elephant Poachers have been Caught in Kelantan

Seven elephant poachers who were labelled “most wanted” by authorities in Peninsular Malaysia are at large no more: they’ve been arrested and are now behind bars. In a joint operation between the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) and the country’s Armed Forces, a gang of seven local suspected poachers was caught near the Taman…