Former Rockanova reality show participant, Zarith Sofia Mohd Yasin, was fined RM27,000 by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today for keeping and confining a sun bear cub last year.
Zarith Sofia, 28, (photo) who kept the sun bear cub that she thought was a dog in her condominium, was fined RM20,000, in lieu of six months imprisonment, for the charge of keeping the sun bear (Helarctos Malayanus) and another RM7,000, in lieu of four months in jail, for confining the animal.
Judge Hakim Manira Mohd Nor meted out the punishment after the accused changed her plea to guilty when the case was brought for remention today.
In July last year, the singer had claimed trial to keeping the sun bear cub, a protected species under the Second Schedule of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010, without a special permit.
The offence was committed at the Sentrio Pandan Condominium, Desa Pandan, Kuala Lumpur on June 6, last year.
Earlier, Zarith Sofia’s lawyer, Nik Muammer Hurrie Mohamad Sukri, pleaded for his client to be spared jail as it was her first offence.
“She only wanted to rescue the animal and had no intention of trading it for profit," he said.
“When the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) found the animal, it was in good health.”
Perhilitan prosecuting officer Nazarudin Kamarudin urged the court for a deterrent sentence.
“This is to serve as a lesson to the accused and society that keeping endangered species or wildlife is viewed seriously by the court,” he said. — Bernama