I REFER to the report "Seladang kills man, hurts another" (NST, Sept 2). It is clear from this incident that all is not well in the Royal Belum forest.
The illegal entry became public knowledge only because one of the intruders was killed by a seladang, necessitating a police report to be lodged.
This shows that many illegal activities such as fishing, hunting, bird trapping and collection of insects and plant species are probably occurring within the confines of the forest and that the area is poorly protected by the Perak Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) and other bodies.
This is also true of forest reserves in other parts of the country, where a lack of resources makes it impossible for Perhilitan to effectively safeguard these areas from poaching and other unlawful activities due to the relatively low priority given to proper management of natural resources compared with other developed countries.
Perhaps the time is right for the agencies entrusted to take care of our forests and wildlife to join forces and set up a volunteer corps of forest rangers (similar to the volunteers in the army and police force) to better protect the forest and wildlife reserves in the country.
These volunteers can be funded by the private sector (especially the plantation and timber industries) as part of their corporate social responsibility. Apart from preventing illegal activities, these volunteers can also help detect the sale of bush meat.
Our remaining forests and wildlife should be considered a national heritage and sufficient resources should be allocated to preserve and protect them.