The 172 sun bear fangs were placed in small plastic bags, with each one containing four fangs, Head of the Pekanbaru First Class Agricultural Quarantine Office Rina Delfi remarked while submitting the evidence to the Riau Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BBKSDA) in Pekanbaru on Wednesday.
Delfi noted that the 172 sun bear fangs were seized at the airport on January 24, 2019.
Aviation security officers at the airport spotted the sun bear fangs during X-ray scanning after checking the package that was intended to be delivered to West Jakarta from Pekanbaru via a JNE forwarding agent, she noted.
Delfi confirmed that the security officers discovered the sun bear fangs on opening the package.
Shortly after obtaining a report of the incident, the Quarantine Center conducted a morphological identification and additional examination at the Biological Research Center of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) in Bogor, West Java. The outcome of the study indicated morphological similarity between the seized items and sun bear fangs (Helarctos malayanus).
"We could hand over the evidence to (the BBKSDA) only now, as we had to conduct testing at the LIPI laboratory," she revealed.
The attempt to deliver sun bear fangs in the absence of health and quarantine certificates amounted to violation of Law No. 16 of 1992 on Animal, Fish, and Plant Quarantine and Government Regulation No. 82 of 2000 on Animal Quarantine.
Head of the BBKSDA Technical Section M. Mahfud got teary-eyed while receiving the seized sun bear fangs.
An emotionally stirred Mahfud admitted to feeling saddened while pondering over the high number of bears being killed on account of illegal hunting activities.
"We have, on numerous occasions, handled cases of (illegal) hunting for sun bear fangs. However, this (attempt to deliver 172 sun bear fangs) is the biggest-ever case we have handled," he added.