Fwd: [birders] Nature photographers robbed at Bidor

To: birding aus <>
Subject: Fwd: [birders] Nature photographers robbed at Bidor
From: Carl Clifford <>
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2007 09:48:45 +1100
Sorry about the cross post, but I think this is an item worth reading for anyone heading off to SE Asia. I don't think this problem is just restricted to Malaysia, it could easily happen here. I have had a couple of nervous moments in the bush in Australia by myself. I don't mean to scare any-one off, just ask them to be cautious out there.
Carl Clifford

Begin forwarded message:

From: Anthony Lau <>
Date: 27 February 2007 6:31:36 AM
To: MNS Selangor <>, Malaysianbirders <>
Subject: [birders] Nature photographers robbed at Bidor


Two photographers were robbed off all their cameras, tripods and lenses at Bidor on Saturday 24 Feb. at about 6.00 pm. This has to happen when expensive equipment are carried and displayed in lonely places and off the beaten track.

Please see

I have sent out a cautionary post early last year when I was a near victim at the Batang Berjuntai water treatment plant. It was fortunate that I sensed trouble when a pickup truck stopped besides my jeepney The driver got off his vehicle,went to the back of his truck and took out a long parang. Just at that moment, serendipitously, a motorcyclist rode by and I quickly hailed the newcomer and engaged him in conversation. It was all small talk; about direction to the nearest police station and in a voice loud enough for the truck driver to hear. I was also careful to display the sheathed parang I always wear around my waist when I go birding alone. To cut the story short,the truck driver aborted what he intended to do with his parang, got back into his vehicle and drove off.

The motorcyclist then told me that the area along the road leading to the sand mining pits is not a safe place to be as a number of drug addicts come to 'shoot the dragon'. in the bushes there. Well, whether it was the mention of " Police ", the sight of my sheathed utility knife or that there was no timbre of anxiety nor fear in my voice, the would be robber must have thought better not to tangle with two equally hefty men.

My guardian angel must have sent the motorcyclist to me in my moment of need :~)

Do be alert and aware of your surroundings wherever you go. Take a lesson from the birds you watch. When a bird feeds, it is at its most vulnerable moment because it is concentrating on satisfying a basic need and oblivous of its surroundings. But Nature has it, that the survival instinct of the bird will make it stop feeding frequently to have a good look around for any danger.

Likewise, birders/photographers should not have their eyes constantly glued to tthe eyepiece of their bins, scopes or cameras. Take in your environment now and again and be constantly aware of it . Should the situation appears unhealthy, evacuate from the place. You are not being a coward in doing so ; you are just being prudent and pragmatic.

I hope the Bidor incident is an isolated one and will not be a precursor of a trend which will keep Nature lovers off altogether. This unfortunate incident should be a wake up call for all birders/ phoographers not to be complacent.

Be careful and Happy Birding.


Anthony Lau
Kuala Lumpur

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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