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Masidi: Snake hunting should be stopped

Published on: Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said snake hunting for commercialisation should be stopped to preserve the 160 snake species in Borneo.

"Look after our assetsÉsnakes are one of our tourism assets. Naturalists come here to see our flora and fauna.

There's no reason for them to come here if they are gone."

Masidi, who was officiating at the launch of "A Field Guide to the Snakes of Borneo" (second edition) at the State Museum, acknowledged that the snake is a well-known delicacy here and admitted that he feared them due to tales and experiences in the past.

But, to shed some light on the better side of the story concerning snakes, he said that one of the co-authors of the book, Dato' Dr. Robert Inger told him that by nature, snakes fear human beings more than human beings fear them.

"They bite because of the self defence mechanism."

"A Guide to the Snakes of Borneo" is a 318-pages book which contains the first photograph ever taken and published of the extremely rare and beautiful Blanford Pipe Snake, Cylindrophis lineatus in Sarawak by a well-known wildlife photographer - Ch'ien Lee.

This book was first published in 2002 by the Natural History Publications (Borneo) and has been constantly used as the standard reference by numerous amateurs and professional herpetologists not only in Malaysia, but in Southeast Asia in general, added Director of Natural History Publications (Borneo), Chan Hin Ching.

Over a period of 12 years, a significant body of knowledge about the snakes of Borneo has been accumulated and this new edition documents in detail all of the 160 species recorded from this island which is renowned for its rich wildlife.

Robert Stuebing, Dr. Inger and Bjorn Lardner travelled all the way from the US to attend the event at the museum.

This second edition will remain as the standard reference for the herpetological community for many decades to come.

Also present was State Museum Director, Joanna Datuk Kitingan.

Lardner will be giving a talk on snakes on April 22 at Sabah Society (Damai) at 7.30pm.

For further information, call 088 - 250 443.