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Photo: slaughtered great hornbill by soldiers raises ire [warning: graphic image]

A photo of an illegally killed great pied hornbill (Buceros bicornis) by what appears to be Malaysian soldiers has angered environmentalists in Malaysia, according to the New Strait Times. The photo was posted on Facebook last year.

The Facebook profile that posted the photo commented in Bahasa that the bird was ‘tasty’. Great pied hornbills, however, are protected by Malaysia’s Wildlife Protection Act, and a number of conservation groups have asked that officials look into the incident.

“It goes against the society’s conservation stance. It also sends a wrong message, especially to the younger generation, with regard to treating wildlife,” Andrew Sebastian, the head of the Malaysian Nature Society, told the New Strait Times.

TRAFFIC, a group countering the illegal trade in wildlife, has lodged a police report over the photo.

Hornbills play a major ecological role throughout Asia as they disperse a wide variety of seeds. The great pied hornbill is listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN Red List and is believed to be declining throughout its range largely due to habitat loss and hunting.

Photo in question: four men pose with slaughtered great pied hornbill.
Photo in question: four men pose with slaughtered great pied hornbill.

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