Honey bear found in cooking pot

A raid by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks Malaysia (Perhilitan) on a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday led to its officers seizing animal parts believed to be of the Malayan sun bear.

Two pieces of body parts weighting 1.27kg were found in a cooking pot when Perhilitan officials raided the Jalan Kuching restaurant at 10.45am.

The Malayan sun bear,  Helarctos malayanus or popular known as “honey bear”, is an endangered species with a population numbering around 300 to 500 in Peninsula Malaysia.

Despite being protected under the Wildlife Conservation Act, it is still widely harvested by illicit traders who sell bear paws to restaurants who serve it as an expensive, exotic dish.

The jungle species also faces severe destruction of its habitat.

Perhilitan said it is investigating the case under Wildlife Conservation Act subsection 68(1)(b).

“If found guilty, the individual is liable to a fine of up to RM100,000 or imprisonment of not more than three years, or both,” said Perhilitan in a statement.

Attempts to contact Perhilitan officials for further information proved futile at the time of publishing.