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WWF: Malaysia has failed its wildlife

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KUALA LUMPUR — The Malaysian chapter of nature conservation group World Wildlife Fund (WWF-Malaysia) has chided the country for failing to stand up for its wildlife following the deaths of threatened or endangered animals on Christmas eve.

In a statement, its executive director Datuk Dionysius Sharma said the organisation was saddened by the number of fatal incidents involving iconic and endangered species in the country.

“A huge amount of our time is committed to empowering and encouraging positive change in the way we protect our planet, including wildlife,” he said.

“Despite all efforts from various organisations and government bodies, yet again we as a nation have failed to stand up for our Malaysian wildlife.

“If we do not take drastic measures to protect our wildlife now, we may lose them to extinction in the near future.”

Dionysius urged motorists to be more vigilant on roads that are close to the habitats of these animals.

“It is imperative to bear in mind that highways close to natural wildlife habitats are at high risk of accidents, and therefore, a higher rate of wildlife deaths,” he said.

“We emphasise the need for Malaysian drivers to be more vigilant and alert while driving in areas that are prone to wildlife crossings to avoid more unfortunate incidents from happening.”

WWF-Malaysia also condemned the incident where a tapir was skinned and left without a snout, in addition to another incident in Kuching, Sarawak, where sun bear parts were found sold at a market.

“WWF-Malaysia urges the public once again to step away from consuming wildlife meat, particularly during festive celebrations,” he said.

“This act of responsible consumption will go a long way in protecting wildlife species such as the sun bear.”