Residents of Kg Jerek relieved sun bear caught in Perhilitan trap

GUA MUSANG, Oct 16: Villagers in Kampung Jerek were finally relieved when one of the three sun bears that roamed and nested there fell into a trap laid by the Department of Wildlife Protection and National Parks Malaysia (Perhilitan).

Resident Mohd Fahmi Aziz Matsin, 25, said the presence of a male sun bear in the trap was noticed at about 8.30 pm on Oct 14 after a loud bang was heard behind his house.

“At that time I had just finished performing the Isyak prayers and then looked for the cause of the banging sound and as soon as I gazed outside the house, I saw that the door of the bear trap located behind the house was slammed shut.

“I duly informed Perhilitan staff who live in this village,” he said in Kampung Jerek.

Earlier, it was reported that 3,000 residents in the village were anxious to leave their homes in the early morning and at night for the past two months after some residents came across the wild animals.

According to Mohd Fahmi, he could hear the agitated animal roaring and thrashing back and forth inside the trap.

A resident, Sabariah Mohamed Sayuti, 43, was thankful that the actions of Perhilitan rangers, who encamped in their settlement in an effort to track and catch the bears a month ago, finally yielded results.

Meanwhile, Perhilitan Kelantan director Mohamad Hafid Rohani said the operation to catch the bear started on Aug 14 by setting traps near the school but was moved to the back of the residents’ houses on Oct 5 where repeated complaints were centred on.

“It is understood that there are two more (sun bears) in this area and I caution the villagers not to dare approach these (unpredictable) wild animals,” he said, alluding to the brief respite for Kampung Jerek as two more bears are still foraging in their midst.

He said the success in Kampung Jerek marked the third bear rescue operation besides others trapped in Jeli and Kuala Krai.