Concerned over rabies, Kuching shutters popular park to rid it of strays after dog bites jogger

Kuching North City Hall Mayor Datuk Abang Wahab Abang Julai says two dogs, including one which attacked a jogger, have been caught by enforcement personnel. ― Picture by Sulok Tawie
Kuching North City Hall Mayor Datuk Abang Wahab Abang Julai says two dogs, including one which attacked a jogger, have been caught by enforcement personnel. ― Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, July 25 — The North City Hall has launched an operation to remove strays from Reservoir Park after a dog attacked a jogger at the fitness and tourist spot earlier this week, Mayor Datuk Abang Wahab Abang Julai said.

Two dogs, including one that bit the jogger, were caught yesterday and handed over to the state Health Department for rabies testing today, he said.

The park has also been closed off to joggers and tourists since Tuesday for the operation.

He added that a third was trapped yesterday but was released by an unidentified person before enforcement personnel arrived.

Abang Wahab said information gathered by City Hall suggested that there could be more strays roaming around the park.

“We don’t where these dogs are from, but we suspect that they could be from the neighbourhood areas,” he said.

He said these dogs were “smart” and suggested they could recognise enforcement vans from the City Hall logo, asserting that they would hide or flee in response.

Enforcement personnel opted to place traps due to this, he said.

The mayor also advised students from two nearby schools to stay away from the park, which is known for its scenic lakes and flowing plants and jogging tracks.

On Tuesday, a stray dog bit the jogger on the stomach while he was out for a morning run at Reservoir Park.

He was rushed to the Sarawak General Hospital for precautionary anti-rabies treatment.

Since the rabies outbreak first reported in Serian Division on July 1, 2017, 18 people have died from being bitten by rabid dogs.