Woman arrested for keeping zoo in condo
Christina Tan – Tue, Dec 08, 2009, The Star/Asia News Network
Bears and leopard cats can be found in the wild or in zoos, but what about in a condominum in the city?
That is what enforcement officers from the Selangor Wildlife Department discovered when they raided a unit in Desa Pandan, Kuala Lumpur last Friday. They arrested a 25-year-old woman who had been keeping a baby honey bear, a leopard cat and a slow loris in individual cages.
And this discovery is just the tip of the iceberg, according to department deputy director Mohammad Khairi Ahmad.
“We believe many out there are keeping wild animals as pets in their homes. It is not the way to love wildlife, as they belong in the wild,” he said.
Khairi said his officers raided the condominium following a tip-off from the public. Initial investigations showed that the animals could have been brought from orang asli in Negri Sembilan and kept as pets in the condominium for the past three months, he told a press conference in Shah Alam yesterday.
Khairi said the baby bear could be sold for about RM5,000 (S$2,049), while the cat and the slow loris were worth about RM500 each (S$204).
The woman, a hotel worker, has been released on bail till Dec 29 after giving her statement. She lives in the condominium with a male relative in his 30s. The authorities are looking for him to help in investigations.
Khairi warned the public not to keep or buy wildlife as it was against the law. He also said that usually, to get a baby bear, a hunter had to kill its mother first, which was a cruel act on an animal that was still feeding on mother’s milk. He added that the department would get a court order to send the seized animals to the Malacca Zoo or release them back into the wild.