SIMON KHOO The Star 14 Oct 16;
PETALING JAYA: The Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) is investigating images of several individuals posing next to a dead tiger that have gone viral on social media.
"We take a serious view of this matter and have ordered a probe to be carried out to check the authenticity of the images," said Perhilitan director-general Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim.
"Investigations into the case will be done under Section 68(2)(c) of the Wildlife Protection Act 2010 for hunting tigers without a special permit," he said in a statement to The Star Friday evening.
The offence carries a jail term of up to five years and a maximum fine of RM500,000, upon conviction.
Abdul Kadir said his officers were now going all-out to track down those responsible and verify the exact location where the photo was taken.
Tigers are a protected species and it is illegal to kill or maim them, unless in a life-threatening situation.
He urged those with information on the case to call the Perhilitan hotline at 1-800-88-5151 (8am to 6pm) or to file a report on its website at www.wildlife.gov.my.
Viral images of butchered tiger may have come from Pahang
JAMES SIVALINGAM New Straits Times 14 Oct 16;
KUALA LUMPUR: Graphic images of a dead Malayan tiger being dismembered, which had been making its round on social media since yesterday, have left netizens reeling in shock and disgust.
The images show several men posing for pictures with the tiger’s carcass. One of the images also shows the tiger’s belly being slit open.
While the origin of the pictures remain unconfirmed, the authorities believe that the poaching activity may indeed have taken place in Malaysia.
Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) Enforcement Acting Director, Rozidan Md Yasin told NST Online that initial information gathered suggests that the incident took place in Pahang.
“Investigations are ongoing and at this stage, it is difficult to confirm the location and when it took place,” he said.
Malaysian Nature Society President Hendry Goh, yesterday told a local portal that the tiger was killed with a snare trap, commonly used by the Orang Asli community.
Wildlife poachers, he said, have begun enlisting the Orang Asli community to hunt Malaysian wildlife for them.
“The poachers will give a bit of money to the Orang Asli to kill the animals. In return, they make thousands in US dollars by selling the skins and other organs on the underground international market,” he was quoted as saying.
The existence of this practice was confirmed by Rozidan.
“Yes, it does happen. The rural communities, especially the Orang Asli, are often ‘used’ by unscrupulous parties for their own interest,” he said.
In the wake of this incident, Rozidan assured the public that Perhilitan is stepping up its surveillance in relevant areas.
He urged members of public who may have more information to come forward to assist investigations.
Malayan tigers are classified as ‘critically endangered’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It is estimated that there are less than 350 in existence.
The species is protected under the Protection of Wildlife Act 2010, which carries a maximum five-year jail term and a RM500,000 fine on offenders.
Meanwhile, Kanitha Krishnasamy of TRAFFIC Southeast Asia (TRAFFIC), an international wildlife trade monitoring network, said poaching and illegal trade pose an urgent threat that does maximum damage in a short time.
The tiger population, she said, has dwindled in many parts of their former habitat due to illegal hunting, mainly for their skin, bones and other body parts.
“It’s a worrying concern because we don’t have as many tigers as we thought we had.
“Malayan tigers are critically endangered, which means we’re one step away from it being extinct in the wild,” warned Kanitha.
SIMON KHOO The Star 14 Oct 16;