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Malaysian businessman nabbed for zoo poisoning

Publication Date : 21-02-2013


Police in Malacca, Malaysia, have detained a 65-year-old businessman from Kulai Besar, Johor, over the poisoning of a Malayan Sun Bear and an Arabian stallion at the Malacca Zoo and Night Safari on Sunday.

Sources told The Star that investigating officers launched an operation codenamed “Vendetta 172” after CCTV footage showed the man on zoo premises with food packages before feeding time.

He is said to have fed the animals with poison as revenge against the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) which had seized 60 animals from a zoo he owned two years ago.

A special investigation team headed by State Deputy CID chief Superintendent P.R. Gunarajan identified the man through a CCTV footage with the food packages before feeding time at 5.30pm on the day.

Police detained the man at his home on Wednesday.

State CID chief Assistant Commissioner Raja Sharom Raja Abdullah said police also confiscated a vehicle and several other items from the man.

“The suspect admitted to being involved in the case, but it is too early to reveal his motives,” he said.

ACP Raja Sharom said police were investigating the case under Section 429 which carries a jail term of five years or fine or both upon conviction.

It is learnt that the man resisted arrest but gave in when police showed him the CCTV footage and other proof of his presence at the zoo on Sunday.

Sources also revealed that the man alleged that some of his animals that were confiscated from his zoo were kept in the Malacca Zoo and had died later due to poor handling by Perhilitan.

This had caused him to resent Perhilitan but he did not realise that the zoo management was privatised on January 1.

In last Sunday's incident, a 14-year-old female Malayan Sun Bear and an Arabian stallion at the zoo died after eating poisoned fruits.

A post-mortem revealed that the bear had eaten a banana laced with toxin. Poison-laced oranges, bananas and sugar cane were found in the enclosures of a chimpanzee and two orangutan on the same day.


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