By ROBERT HII
COMMENT: It was with absolute disgust that I watched a video posted on Facebook by Danau Girang Field Centre showing a few men cutting open a crocodile in public!
Comments on the post indicated that this blatant violation of state laws took place in Penampang. A second video showed the perpetrators’ faces very clearly. This should make it an easy case for prosecution considering everything was caught on tape.
For years, the lack of prosecution was blamed on inadequate evidence but there are no excuses this time. The only question is will the Sabah Wildlife Department take action??
Failing to prosecute these people will only embolden rogue villagers and make a mockery of the wildlife department which has been entrusted to protect Sabah’s wildlife.
It is absolutely frustrating to read about the arrests of pangolin poachers or the mysterious deaths of elephants in Sabah knowing that there will never be definitive results.
Is the problem facing Sabah’s wildlife really that serious that the wildlife department has to hide its findings? Or is it simply a case of filing away the reports when they are supposed to be investigated? The public has a right to know what is happening to Sabah’s wildlife.
Let us not forget the mysterious deaths of another six elephants a few weeks ago. If elephants are dropping dead in groups in Sabah, the wildlife department should know what is happening and should indeed share that information with the general public.
If the work involved in saving Sabah’s wildlife in beyond the capability of the wildlife department, then maybe this is a good time to revamp it to match the can-do approach of the new state government.
As for these croc killers in Penampang, I truly hope that the wildlife department will show up to work and prosecute them to the full extent of the law.
• Robert Hii is a Sarawak-born Canadian Conservationist who through his NGO Friends Of Borneo help In Wildlife Conservation Programs in Sabah, Sarawak and Kalimantan