Malaysia: Tapir saved in Cherating

T. N. Alagaesh New Straits Times 20 Apr 13;

UNEXPECTED 'VISITOR': Roaming animal's legs stuck in mud at beach

KUANTAN: BEACHGOERS and villagers at Cherating, near here, pulled out a female tapir trapped in its famous sandy beach on Thursday.

The adult tapir, weighing 200kg, was earlier spotted roaming near chalets along the beach before it headed towards the sea at 6pm.

However, its legs got stuck in mud and it struggled to free itself before help arrived.

State Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) director Khairiah Mohd Shariff said since it was low tide, villagers managed to dig the sand around the tapir's legs and pull the animal out.

The tapir, which was exhausted and dehydrated, was then tied up and brought to a shed before a villager alerted the department.

"When our personnel arrived, the animal appeared weak but it was doing well.

"Our officers alerted the Jenderak Wildlife Conservation Centre in Kuala Krau for assistance to relocate it.

"The tapir was fed and given medical treatment before it was sedated and sent to Kuala Krau Wildlife Reserve in Temerloh yesterday morning," she said when contacted yesterday.

Khairiah said Malaysian Civil Defence Department personnel and a group of villagers assisted department personnel to rescue the animal.