It can be difficult at times to keep your faith in humanity. We had to bite our tongue at this one after witnessing the terrible atrocities that members of our species are capable of.
A recent viral post has shown a group of poachers laughing and prancing around while holding the savaged and lifeless body of an endangered clouded leopard.
The latest example of the nasty things humans are capable of comes from Malaysia.
The clouded leopard—or Neofelis nebulosa—is an extremely rare creature.
Estimates suggest that the global population of clouded leopards stands at only 10,000 with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listing the leopard as “vulnerable” on its Red List of species that are close to extinction.
The fact that there are so few of these beautiful animals left in the world didn’t seem to phase the poachers, who instead of showing any remorse for their kill, they proudly showed of the slaughtered the leopard for all to see.
In the background of the image you can see members of the Malaysian Civil Defense Force wearing their traditional blue uniforms.
The shocking photos were uploaded to Facebook by a man known as “Max Mantra”. He claimed they had been taken outside of Tampin, in the western state of Negeri Sembilan.
?WARNING: Graphic Content – Photos of a group of unidentified men displaying a dead #cloudedleopard have been circulating social media. Please repost to help find the sick individuals who did this.??
— World Animal News (@WorldAnimalNews) May 9, 2019
Not surprisingly after tremendous backlash, the photos were deleted just after they were posted, together with Max’s social media account.
A web user known as Siva Nadarajan took screenshots before Max had time to realize the outrage he had caused, according to Mothership.
Nadarajan noted that he had initially tried to notify the Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia to complain about the incident, but was abruptly dismissed by the agency and was told “everyone has gone home”.
Nadarajan’s post on the hiking page has since been removed and it is unclear whether or not he followed up his complaint.
Understandably, countless web users have been saddened and appalled by the joyful smiles of the leopard’s killers, certainly given the fact that this beautiful leopard is so rare. There is definitely a sense of palpable outrage strewn across the internet because of the callous smiles and ignorance of the poachers.
The clouded Leopard went extinct decades ago in many Asian countries, notably Singapore and Taiwan, and its worldwide population dwindles every day.
The new photos have appeared just after news that poachers in Vietnam have been jailed for the illegal possession of protected or endangered animal parts, according to the Malaysian Star.
Two men were found guilty by the Malaysian courts to have illegally captured animals that were under state protection with brutal snares. Upon arrest, they were found to be in possession of 141 parts of two Malayan tigers, three sun bears, 12 wild boar, and two clouded leopards.
Another Vietnamese national, in March this year, was sentenced by authorites to 19 years in jail after being found guilty of 10 charges under the Wildlife Conservation Act.
Like his most recent counterparts, he was also found to be in illegal possession of 273 wildlife parts including tiger, clouded leopard, sambar deer and bear.
And more recently, a poacher from Vietnam has been jailed for six years in after being found in possession of a complete tiger skin, a leopard’s claw, large portions of tiger meat and wild boar meat and a sun bear’s claw.