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SOS Rhino : In the News : Archived News : April 2001 : Rhino killers believed to be hired hunters

Rhino killers believed to be hired hunters

New Straits Times (Malaysia)
April 27, 2001

KOTA KINABALU - The poachers who shot and decapitated a female Sumatran rhinoceros in the Kalabakan forest reserve, south of the Maliau Basin near Tawau on March 10, could have been hired hunters.

Sabah Wildlife Department deputy director Laurentius Ambu, when contacted today, believed that the poachers could have been "sponsored" to hunt the rhinoceros for its horns and other body parts.

In light of the risk involved in hunting the rhinoceros and selling its horns, he reasoned they must have had a ready market for the horns.

Although more than 10 people had been questioned by the State Wildlife Department since its investigations two weeks ago, there were still no suspects and there is not enough evidence to press charges.

Laurentius said the department's investigation was progressing slowly because of poor public co-operation.

The case is investigated under the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997. An offender is liable to a mandatory jail sentence of between six months and five years.



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