Malaysia: Mutilated tapir may have been strangled to death

New Straits Times 26 Oct 17;

KUALA LUMPUR: The Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) has initiated an investigation into an adult male tapir’s death that happened yesterday.

Its director-general Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim said preliminary investigations by the department found that the carcass of the tapir located at Taman Desa Saujana, Batu 14, Hulu Langat had some parts of its body such as ears, front leg, trunk and skin mutilated.

Abdul Kadir said based on interviews with residents of Taman Desa Saujana and the security guard on duty that night revealed the tapir had initially wandered into the neighbourhood and later fell into a drain.

“In an effort to rescue the tapir, the residents had contacted the Malaysian Civil Defence Force (APM), Fire and Rescue Department and the police.

“The rescue operation carried out by the APM and Fire and Rescue Department ended at 1am but had left the tapir dead and its carcass was abandoned at the scene. Residents were present during the rescue operation,” he said in a statement.

Perhilitan had also voiced its concern over the death of an adult tapir, as it has an impact on wildlife population in its habitat.

“The tapir’s cause of death will be determined through a post-mortem.

“However, the initial observation of the Department has hinted that possible cause of death was due to stress and inappropriate rescue methods.

“From pictures sent to us by residents, it can be seen that three length of ropes were used and tied around the tapir’s neck to pull it up,” he said adding it could have been strangled to death.

Abdul Kadir reminded the public to not take matters into their own hands and contact the nearest Perhilitan branch to seek wildlife rescue assistance especially if they encounter any large mammal or endangered species.

Ill treatment of wildlife is punishable under Section 86 of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716) and if convicted, the offender can be fined of up to RM50,000 or imprisoned up to one year or both.

“In addition, tapirs are a fully protected species under Act 716 where taking and keeping a fully protected wildlife is an offense under Section 68 and those convicted can be fined up to RM100,000 or imprisoned up to three years or both,” he said.


Handle wildlife carefully when rescuing
LETTERS The Star 28 Oct 17;

WE refer to the report on the death of a young tapir on Oct 25, which has gone viral on social media and is raising a massive outcry from netizens and the public at large for solutions to be found to reduce or stop such unfortunate incidents.

Recent news reports have also highlighted roadkill of tapirs, elephants, tigers and other wildlife species. The Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) views with great concern the increase in such incidents and calls on the authorities concerned to take immediate measures to ensure wildlife and human conflicts precipitated by rapid developments around the country be addressed as a priority.

No thanks to the frequent encroachments by such developments and highways into wildlife habitats, the latest addition to the concerns is the East Coast Railway Link (ECRL) that is likely to compound the situation further.

MNS had already raised its concerns over the ECRL.

A suggestion to set up a wildlife rescue unit within the Department of Wildlife and Parks is a good one and should be looked into. More could also be done on creating public awareness, education and information dissemination pertaining to the behaviour and the handling of wildlife.

Let’s all collectively do our part to take the necessary actions now before it is too late.

HENRY GOH

President

Malaysian Nature Society

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