IPOH - The Perak Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) has seized 17 protected wild birds, valued at about RM20,000 (S$7,782.60), from a self-employed man in Batu Kurau, Kerian.
State Perhilitan director Fakhrul Hatta Musa said the birds - seven white-rumped shama (murai batu), three blue-winged leafbirds (burung daun sayap biru), five lesser green leafbirds, a stripe-throated bulbul (burung lureh leher) and a hill myna - were found following a raid at the man's home at Kampung Air Hitam Jelai at about noon on Tuesday.
"Our officers have been monitoring the place for about a week.
"Our investigations show that the 50-year-old man does not have any official documents to keep the birds," he said in a statement yesterday.
"We believe the birds were meant to be sold at markets," he said, adding that the birds, along with the cages, had been taken to the Perhilitan office in Selama.
Fakhrul Hatta said the man could be charged under Section 60(1)(a) and 68(1)(a) of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 for having the birds in his possession.
For Section 60(1)(a), the offender can be fined up to RM50,000 or jailed not more than two years or both.
If found guilty under Section 68(1)(a), the offender can also be fined not more than RM100,000 or jailed a maximum of three years or both.
In Sibu, a baby hornbill that was caught by a houseowner in Jalan Pedada is believed to have been kept as a pet before it escaped.
A Sarawak Forestry Department spokesman said yesterday this was based on the ragged tail of the Asian Black Hornbill or Anthracoceros malayanus.
"If found in the wild, the bird will have its tail in its original state. But its tail is ragged, as it has been kept in a cage," he told reporters at the handing over of the bird by nature lover Lai Lee Siew to wildlife warden Nickson Joseph Robin.
The baby hornbill was caught at the house when it flew into the first floor last Thursday.
The house owner later handed over the bird to Lai, a "Friends of the Forestry Department" certificate holder who is licensed to catch exotic animals and birds, including those deemed protected species.
The spokesman added that the bird would be sent to the Matang Wildlife Centre in Kuching for rehabilitation.
Those caught having the bird, which is listed under the Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1998, are liable to pay a fine of up to RM25,000 and two-year imprisonment.
Asked on the population of the species, the spokesman said his department was currently determining the figure, including those of the other six species found in the state.
He urged the public to report to the department if they knew of anybody keeping or selling protected species of animals and birds by calling 084-337444.