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"Where's My Mama?" Campaign - The Body Shop

By 21:48 , , ,

I remember the first time I got the chance to feed and carry an Orang Utan which was still in his younger years, it was at the National Zoo in Ulu Klang. It must have been one of those most adorable and unforgettable moments ever. His movements and the way he held on to me was just like a human baby. It was beyond amazing! I don't understand how anyone could ever harm such a beautiful creature that is similar to us in so many ways. Heartless!!

Either a lot of people are still not aware of this or just choose to be ignorant of it, but every single day countless young wild animals including the Orang Utan are orphaned when their mothers are captured or slaughtered for the illegal wildlife trade because someone wants a cute pet. Can't they get a expensive pure breed cat or dog? It just doesn't make sense!

The Body Shop Malaysia in collaboration with TRAFFIC Southeast Asia recently launched the "Where's My Mama?" campaign to seriously highlight this problem and urge the public to consider the impact of their purchases. This campaign features the Orang Utan, Malayan Tiger and the Malayan Sun Bear all of which are affected by illegal wildlife trade.

In the wild, young Orang Utans spend most of their time clinging to their mother. To obtain one suitable for the illegal pet trade, the mother is often killed. Sometimes when the mother is shot, she falls with her infant still clinging on. Infants that survive are smuggled to the nearest town-market to be sold.

For each young Orang Utan found in the trade, an estimated two to four others die! Some experts place the figure as high as eight. Both the Sumatran and Bornean orang utans are in serious trouble. Trade in young animals as pets, coupled with huge levels of habitat loss have pushed Asia's only great apes and the largest tree-dwelling mammal found on earth to the brink if extinction. They are classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List and international commercial trade in this species is prohibited. It is also a totally protected species under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010.

The Tiger is the largest of the cats and is found across much if Asia. Out of the nine sub species that have been recognised, three are extinct. The Malayan Tiger can be found in Peninsular Malaysia. A cub is completely dependant on its mother for food until it learns to hunt from its mother for at least 15 months. The population of wild tigers in Peninsular Malaysia is estimated between 493 and 1480 adult tigers. However based on density derived from camera trappings in six sites in Malaysia during the late 90's research suggests it may only "up to several hundred".

TIgers are illegally hunted for the demand of tiger parts in traditional medicine, magic and as symbols of wealth and power. Cubs are easy targets for wildlife traffickers ending up in the illegal trade as pets and for exhibition especially with no food, no skills and no protector. If it survives at all! The Malayan Tiger is classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List and international commercial trade in this species is prohibited. It is also a totally protected species under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010.

The Malayan Sun Bear is Malaysia's only bear species and is the smallest of the world's eight bear species. It has short sleek balck fur and distinct U-shaped yellow patch on its chest. Adult bears are illegally hunted for their gall bladder used in traditional medicine, their meat and body parts. Orphaned cubs are defenseless, as they rely entirely on their mother for the first two years, when the mother is killed the cubs fall into the hands of traffickers to be sold as pets or for display in zoos.

The Malayan Sun Bear is classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List and international commercial trade in this species is prohibited. It is also a totally protected species under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010. Listed as totally protected species under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010.

What The Body Shop has done to create more awareness to the plight of these animals and in hopes of stopping this illegal trade, it will run its signature "Kick the Bag" campaign, asking the public to report illegal wildlife trade to the Wildlife Crime Hotline : 019-3564194. These paper bags, act as a tool to help spread the word and draw awareness to the campaign. In store, The Body Shop will run the campaign until the end of the month by giving out postcards to customers that frequent the stores.

Look i found a cute kitty!

There has been quite a bit of coverage on this issue in the media over the past few years. There was also a brilliant expose by Bryan Christy of the illegal wildlife smuggling here in Malaysia published in an issue of the National Geographic Magazine last year. Before reading that article I did not expect that the situation to be so severe, I was appalled and even embarassed that a Malaysian citizen is one of the biggest KingPin of wildlife trafficking and Malaysia itself is being used as a hub by wildlife traffickers. It is so disheartening despite the efforts of so many selfless people and organisations to prevent the illegal trade of wildlife that their efforts seems to be an uphill and monumental task as the lure of big money and profits simply overwhelm and obliterate these noble efforts. We can only hope that things will start looking up...

Keep updated with TRAFFIC Southeast Asia on facebook here and The Body Shop Malaysia here.

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  1. tony the tiger4 May 2011 at 15:49

    keep up the good work. noble causes need all the exposure they can get from bloggers like you

  2. tony: wish a lot more could help though.. *sigh*

  3. From your pictures it all seems to be that you have lot of interest in the animals and keep on taking there pictures which ever you like. So this had made your life more beautiful. And all posters are nice.

  4. thanx so much Michael! i'm just trying to do what i can to spread awareness.. :)

  5. and yes I love animals! i have 11 cats plus a few strays I have taken in and they are just part of my family. each one of them beautiful.. :)


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