NEIGHBOURHOOD FORAGER: Wildlife officers plan to relocate it away from people
KUANTAN: THE state Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) yesterday set up a cage to trap a foraging sun bear which had destroyed coconut trees at Taman Pandan 2 and Kampung Lubuk Puyu here.
Perhilitan enforcement officers set the trap after confirming the presence of the endangered mammal following several days of surveillance.
Using cooking oil and jackfruit as bait, officers placed a large iron cage near a forest area in Kampung Lubuk Puyu, where the world's smallest bear species is said to be holed up.
State department director Khairiah Mohd Shariff said the foods used as bait was a favourite of the species.
She said residents had reported that the young sun bear, which is also known as the honey bear, was believed to have climbed and destroyed several coconut trees in the area.
"The animal could be hungry as it was often spotted foraging for food and wandering into the neighbourhood at night.
"We have advised residents not to feed the animal as it might start associating with humans and roam around their backyards for food."
She said officers would be sent out to patrol the area regularly and to keep a close eye on the trap.
Residents were also reminded to inform the department if they spotted the animal.
Anis Fauzi, 23, said some of the villagers were scared to go out at night for fear that the bear might harm them.
"However, since the bear was first spotted after Hari Raya Aidilfitri, the animal has not caused any problems and would run away when it saw humans.
"We hope the animal will be captured soon and moved to a more suitable place. It deserves a better home and proper food," he said.
The sun bear, a protected species, made headlines last week when a villager who recorded the animal running in the neighbourhood uploaded the 47-second video clip on his Facebook page.
A report was lodged with the department soon after.
In July 2008, the department had used rice and cooking oil as bait to lure an 80kg sun bear, which had been seen foraging in Kampung Sekor, Pekan for months, into a cage trap.