Sandakan court sentenced and Indonesian estate worker to a 12 months jail for causing injury to a male Orang utan at Gedau, Long Manis, Beluran on July 13, 2015.
The magistrate court charged the estate worker Syam bin Sul, 38, under section 37 of the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997 which provides a penalty of a fine of twenty thousand ringgit or imprisonment for two years or both for causing reckless injury to protected animal. The court was told that Syam slashed the Orang utan with a parang after the Orang utan was allegedly trying to chase him while he was on his way back to his kongsi from work. The prosecution was conducted by Abd. Karim Dakog from Sabah Wildlife Department before magistrate Suhaila binti Selag.
Sabah Wildlife Department director William Baya expressed satisfaction that the perpetrator of the unfortunate incident finally been dealt with according to the law. He said ‘it was unfortunate that the perpetrator chose to injure the Orang utan when he could have easily avoided it by running away from the animal if indeed it was trying to chase him because he can easily outrun the Orang utan.
“The penalty imposed by the court should be a reminder to would be offender of the serious consequences of injuring protected animals, more so with a totally protected species. We will deal with them according to the law” said Baya.
“Foreign citizen working in Sabah should abide by the law of this country,” he added.
He also stressed that to prevent future incident such as this, all managers and owners of plantation to inform the Sabah Wildlife Department if they come across protected species found straying into their plantation.
“The plantations also should take the initiative to advise their ignorant foreign workers against hunting or injuring protected species” he said.
On another note when asked about the latest condition of the injured Orang utan,
Baya also mentioned that after one week of emergency treatment and monitoring, the injured Orang utan was sedated once again today to further treat the deep parang wound.
“Upon a closer examination of the wound, we found it was extremely deep , where the parang had actually penetrated into air sac , causing air sacculitis (state of severe infection of the air sacs). Air sac is loose pouch located around the throat of an Orangutan which is used for vocalizing,”
Baya further added that the veterinary team managed to suture the parang wound that penetrated the air sac and drained more than 120ml of pussy exudates. Other wounds were also treated but all were quite superficial and not in urgent risk of major infection. Even though his condition has improved , with the new problem of air sacculitis diagnosed today, intensive care is still required for the next few weeks.
“We hope that once all the problems are resolved, we will be able to return him to the wild where he belongs,” he said.