Hunt if you must, but please do so culturally said Malaysia Nature Society upon learning of the recent killing of exotic, rare and endangered cat clouded leopard near Bakun reservoir.
“We hunted for food, we targeted games of wild boar and deer which also the food of clouded leopard,” the Malaysia Nature Society Kuching Branch (MNSKB) chairman Anthony Sebastian said.
However, he said nowadays Sarawakians no longer hunting for food but rather for recreation.
“It must stop! There is no reason for us to keep hunting animals like the clouded leopard,” he said adding that it is part of the heritage that we inherited from our forefathers.
“Our forefathers have deep respect for the forest and it inhabitants, never hunt games to extinction.
Anthony said if we do not respect our forests, its inhabitants the way our forefathers did, how can we point the finger at those who logged, cut it down for oil palm or building dams!
Malaysia Nature Society also clarified that recent reports on sighting of the cat at Mount Santubong were not merely based on photos but also actual sightings.
The society claimed, workers surveying the area for the cable car project saw at least three leopards and that further study would be required to confirmed the sightings.
Asked if they knew of the estimate population of the cat in the State, Anthony admitted they don’t know.
“Although there is a clouded leopard project in Sabah trying to find all the answers about the biology and ecology of this cat.
“We do not know what do they need to survive,” he said.
According to MNSKB clouded leopard “may not be as rare as we think” gauging from unverified reports of its being illegally killed in rural areas such as Bakun and recent sightings in Mount Santubong.