February 13, 2023
JAKARTA – Two sun bears were injured after being trapped on sling wire traps in Mount Leuser National Park. One of the bears had to have one of its legs amputated due to the injury.
Palbert Turnip, head of the national park’s Stabat region management said the bears were found in two different locations in Sei Lepan district, Langkat regency, North Sumatra, last week.
“One of the bears, a female, was immediately released into the wild because it only had minor injuries. The other one, a male, had to be taken for treatment,” Palbert told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.
He said following the finding, four local residents were questioned and one was arrested by forest police.
The suspect is charged under the 1990 law on natural resources and ecosystem conservation, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and Rp 100 million (US$6,584) in fines.
Sun bears (Helarctos malayanus), also known as honey bears, are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and are threatened by habitat loss and hunting for traditional medicine.
Its range once extended across mainland Southeast Asia to Sumatra and Kalimantan, but the animal is now occurring only patchily throughout. (dre)