Thought It Was A Dog, Says Singer Arrested For Keeping Bear As Pet

A Malaysian singer was arrested for keeping a wild bear in her home (Representative Image)

Last week, a Malaysian singer was arrested for keeping a wild bear in her home. However, she insists she thought the animal was a dog, not a sun bear. According to Asia One, Zarith Sofia Yasin claimed in an interview that she found the bear nearly two weeks earlier and picked it up hoping to nurse it back to health.

“It was night time when I found the bear cub in a weakened state by the side of the road, and I thought it was dog!” the 27-year-old said to Kosmo in a report published on Sunday.

The former contestant on reality show Rockanova also explained to The Star that she did not intend to break the law.

“I know the bear cannot be reared, it can’t be kept as a pet,” she said. “I only wanted to save the bear, I had no intention of exploiting it.”

She also added that she wanted to hand the bear, which she named Bruno, over to a zoo once it regained its strength.

“It is true that I went home for Hari Raya – but I didn’t let him starve, I left him some food,” she told The Star. “I was worried about sending Bruno to the zoo (while it was ill) because the animals there look skinny.”

On Friday, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia raided Ms Yasin’s condo in Kuala Lumpur. The raid occurred after someone shot and posted a video of the bear sticking its head out of the condo’s window “crying out for help.”

The video led to many criticising the singer on social media, accusing her of keeping the animal trapped for selling it illegally – an allegation she denies.

“I have a business to run during the day and at night, I sing… when do I have time to sell animals?” she asked The Star. “”This is not the way I make a living. Animals like that are not for sale.”

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