Viral Photos Show Malaysians Posing With A Dead "Vulnerable To Extinction" Clouded Leopard

Poachers hunt these leopards for its fur and bones to use in traditional medicine.

Cover image via Hiking & Camping Around Malaysia/Facebook

In a viral Facebook post on Wednesday, 8 May, a group of Malaysians were seen smiling and posing with a dead clouded leopard which had injuries in its leg and neck

Siva Nadarajan posted a series of photos allegedly taken from another Facebook user, Max Mantra. He uploaded them to Facebook group Hiking & Camping Around Malaysia.

The post has since received over 1,000 shares.

In the screenshots, the men were seen happily carrying the dead leopard which was believed to have been caught at an agricultural farm in Kampung Kemuning, Alor Gajah

Siva wrote in the post that he had tried to call the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) at 3pm to lodge a report.

However, the operator allegedly did not accept the request and claimed that "everyone had gone home".

A number of men were also spotted in the background of one of the photos, dressed in Malaysian Civil Defence Force (JPAM) uniforms

However, it is unclear as to why they were present at the scene.

Clouded leopards, named after the blotchy "clouds" on their body, are considered vulnerable to extinction due to poaching

Native to Malaysia and other parts of Southeast Asia, these leopards are targetted by illegal traders for its fur and bones used in traditional medicine.

In April, The Star reported that an amendment was made to the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 increasing the minimum penalty for poachers to a RM1 million fine and five years in jail.

The Act is expected to be tabled in December 2019.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via San Diego Zoo

After the post went viral, police reportedly detained all of the men in the photos and brought them in for investigations

Perhilitan Melaka director Mohd Hasdi Husin told Harian Metro that a police report on the matter has been made.

An investigating officer went to retrieve the dead carcass, which was reportedly buried, to identify the cause of death.

"I advise people who have information on the pictures to bring it to Perhilitan to assist the investigations," Huasin added, according to Utusan Online.

The case is being investigated under Section 68 (2) (c) of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010, Act 716.

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