Malaysia: Over 20 tiger smuggling bids foiled

PATRICK LEE The Star 18 Apr 15;

PETALING JAYA: More than 20 tiger smuggling attempts have been busted by wildlife authorities in the past five years.

This comes as data from the World Bank showed that 70 of the country’s 336 mammal species were fa­­cing extinction, including the Malayan tiger.

“Perhilitan (Department of Wild­life and National Parks) had been able to detect and take action in 22 cases rela­ting to tiger or tiger parts since 2010,” a Perhilitan spokesman said.

He added that in 2012 and 2013, a total of four cases involving tigers were successfully prosecuted in courts. Those found guilty of hunting tigers without special permits can be jailed for up to three years and fined RM100,000, or both.

Those found killing female tigers, can be fined up to RM300,000, or be jailed for up to 10 years, or both.

There may only be between 250 and 340 tigers left in the country’s wild.

The spokesman said mammals were most threatened by wildlife habitat loss caused by human activities.

He said wild animals depended on forests for shelter, and without this, their survival rate would drop.

“Poaching is made easier when the forests are cleared or when there are access roads into natural areas,” he said.