The image above (right), taken from of the blog MONGABAY.COM, shows five Malaysian soldiers posing proudly with a Great Hornbill (Buceros bicornis) they had earlier slaughtered.
We were alerted to the post by birder Daisy O’Neill of Penang, Malaysia. Apparently the photograph appeared last year in Facebook but only posted in the above blog on 27th February 2011.
According to Daisy, the Malaysian daily Star Publication of 4th April 2011 reported that the soldiers concerned had since been suspended. Singapore’s Straits Times picked up the story and published it on 6th April (above left). The soldiers’ excuse was that the hornbill was injured and they killed it to end its misery.
The Great Hornbill is protected in Malaysia and this has angered local conservation groups, especially the Malaysian Nature Society.
“If you love these birds and would like your children, grandchildren down the line and friends to get a chance to see what these gorgeous birds look like in the wild Malaysian forests, you would be educating and creating the awareness of avian conservation to pass the message around and shame such acts of pathetic ignorance,” wrote Daisy.
Obviously the soldiers need serious counseling.