Malaysian Singer Who Kept Sun Bear Locked In Apartment Has Been Fined RM27,000

A video circulated online last year showing a sun bear roaring loudly from an apartment window.

Cover image via Bernama & Facebook

A Malaysian singer has been fined RM27,000 today, 15 January, for illegally keeping an endangered sun bear locked in her apartment unit last year

28-year-old Zarith Sofia Mohd Yasin was fined RM20,000 in lieu of six months imprisonment for keeping a sun bear, and an additional RM7,000 in lieu of four months of jail for confining the bear, according to Bernama.

She was charged by the Sessions Court today.

In June last year, a video went viral exposing a six-month-old sun bear cub sticking its head out of an apartment window and roaring loudly

Image via Facebook

After initially thinking that it was just people pulling a prank, residents at Sentrio Pandan Condominium, Desa Pandan immediately alerted authorities.

It was later discovered that the tenant had locked the cub in the house alone and had gone back to her village.

New Straits Times reported that Zarith Sofia was then arrested by the Wildlife and National Parks Department (PERHILITAN) for keeping a protected animal without permission under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716).

Poor bear! Perhaps hungry and crying out for help

Posted by Ida Shareena on Thursday, June 6, 2019
Image via Facebook

A few days after the incident, the woman came out to explain her side of the story. She claimed that she had initially thought it was just a "dog".

Zarith said that she found the animal in a weak state by the roadside in Bukit Ampang a couple of weeks prior to that.

The tenant also revealed that she had left enough food for it and was hesitant about bringing it to Zoo Negara because the animals there looked skinny.

She also said that she only wanted to rescue it and had no intention of trading it for profit.

Sun bears are an endangered species in Malaysia and are protected under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010

Keeping a sun bear without the proper permits and the right environment is considered an offence. 

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Wonderful Malaysia

Here are other animals that are not allowed to be kept as pets:

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