TONGOD: A father’s quick action saved his son from a sun bear attack during paddy planting at Kampung Entilibon here this morning. In the 7.30am incident, 58-year-old Jackson Yongki, who is a retired teacher, was with his two sons aged 15 and 17 years old when they were suddenly approached by the protected Bornean sun bear at the paddy field. “The bear tried to pounce on my son and without thinking twice, I immediately hit the bear with a piece of wood I was holding. “We then tried to run from the bear but my right leg got stuck in the mud and I fell,” he told NSTP when contacted. “The bear then bit my other leg before fleeing into the nearby woods. Thankfully, I only sustained minor injury.”
“The bear tried to pounce on my son and without thinking twice, I immediately hit the bear with a piece of wood I was holding.” Pix courtesy of NST reader
Jackson said they were aware that the sun bear is a protected species and they did not mean to hurt it or see it being killed. “We hope the relevant quarters will be able to capture it soon so that it will not continue to enter the village area,” he said. Following the attack, Jackson sought treatment at the Kampung Entilibon Health Clinic. Meanwhile, district wildlife officer Hussein Muin said a team of personnel, including from the Wildlife Rescue Unit and Sepilok Bear Unit was rushed to the location to track down the animal at the paddy field and nearby surroundings.
“Based on information, there is only one bear in the area and we believed it came from a nearby forest,” he said. The Bornean sun bear is a totally protected species under Schedule 1 of the Sabah Wildlife Enactment 1997. Hunting or possessing sun bear or its parts is an offence under Section 41(1) of the enactment, which carries a fine not less than RM50,000 and not more than RM250,000 and imprisonment not less than a year and not more than five years, if convicted. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd