PERAK, MALAYSIA: A tragic incident occurred early on a Thursday morning (9 Nov) near the Gua Tempurung stop area, along the North-South Expressway in Gopeng, Perak, resulting in the unfortunate death of a Malayan tiger.
The incident, believed to be caused by a collision with a trailer, transpired at 12.30 a.m., according to Teh Kok Lim, Chairman of the Perak Science, Environment and Green Technology Committee.
Upon thorough investigation by the Perak Wildlife Protection and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) at the scene, it was determined that the deceased male tiger was estimated to be between eight to ten years old.
This particular tiger had gained notoriety in the region for allegedly attacking livestock and causing distress to the residents in the Kampar vicinity.
One significant factor contributing to the tiger’s behavior was the spread of the African Swine Fever (ASF) epidemic, which had a substantial impact on the population of wild boars in the area.
As a result, the tiger began venturing closer to the forest’s edge and neighboring villages.
Subsequently, it turned to tracking the free-ranging cattle owned by villagers that grazed near the forest’s perimeter and fields.
This change in diet led to a higher likelihood of encounters and conflicts with humans, as the tiger sought easier prey.
In light of these circumstances, Teh Kok Lim mentioned that the tiger’s carcass was transported to the National Wildlife Rescue Center (NWRC) to determine the appropriate course of action, given the unfortunate demise of this majestic Malayan tiger.
Netizens urge Government to mandate wildlife crossings for safer animal passage
As news of the Malayan tiger’s tragic demise began circulating, many Malaysian netizens turned to BERNAMA’s Facebook comment page to express their grief over the loss of this national symbol.
Perusing the comments, a significant portion of the online community holds the hope that the government will introduce a compulsory policy mandating all developers, including government entities, to incorporate dedicated bridges or crossings for animals.
The underlying objective of this proposal is to facilitate the safe passage of wildlife, particularly in high-traffic areas such as highways.
Such a move would be a substantial stride towards mitigating the risk of road accidents involving animals.
Conversely, another group of netizens speculates that the unfortunate incident involving the tiger might have been prompted by hunger.
According to this perspective, the tiger, facing the challenges of finding sustenance in its natural habitat, may have ventured across the highway in search of more abundant food sources.
Concern for future wildlife legacy
The online community has expressed deep concern and sorrow regarding the dwindling population of the Malayan tiger.
The fact that these majestic creatures are already few in number has weighed heavily on the hearts of many.
The tragic incident, leading to the loss of one more of these endangered animals due to a fatal collision, is seen as a stark reminder of the fragility of their existence.
For these netizens, it is not only the loss of one tiger but the potential impact on future generations that strikes a chord.
They fervently hope that future generations will still have the privilege of encountering these tigers in the wild, highlighting the urgency of taking concrete steps to protect and preserve this subspecies.
Delving into the facts about the Malayan tiger, also known by its scientific name Panthera tigris jacksoni, it’s important to note that it is a subspecies unique to Peninsular Malaysia, as reported by Harimau Malaysia’s official page.
The legal framework for its conservation is in place, as it enjoys full protection under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716).
However, despite these protective measures, the statistics from the 1st National Tiger Survey conducted between 2016 and 2018 are alarming.
The data reveals that the recorded population of Malayan tigers is now less than 200, a stark indication that the subspecies is teetering on the brink of extinction.
Given the gravity of this situation, the netizens emphasize the necessity of swift, decisive action to halt the decline in the Malayan tiger population.
Without significant interventions, it is projected that Malaysia may lose this species entirely within the next five to ten years, a sobering prospect that underscores the need for urgent conservation efforts.