Malaysia: Malayan tigers in danger

Sharifah Mahsinah Abdullah New Straits Times 10 Oct 18;

HUNTING Malayan tigers in remote forests is still rampant due to the high demand for them in neighbouring country.

Many villagers living in Dabong, Gua Musang, claimed that foreign poachers started hunting Malayan tigers a few months ago and sold them for RM20,000 each.

A villager, who only wanted to be known as Osman, 48, said the foreigners worked on a vegetable farm owned by a local in Gua Musang.

“They started hunting for the protected species after they spotted the animal roaming the vegetable farm.

“They managed to capture a tiger rec ently and sold its carcass to one of the traders in a neighbouring country for RM20,000,” he told the New Straits Times Press here yesterday.

Osman said the foreigners started to hunt Malayan tigers after learning they could fetch a handsome price from traders in the neighbouring country.

He said besides tigers, the foreigners also hunted other exotic animals, such as pangolins and snakes.

“The demand for exotic animals is high, not only to be served as food but also for medical purposes,” said the farmer.

It was reported last month that the price of a Malayan tiger could fetch up to RM1 million each.

Its meat was said to be nutritious.

This has caused the dwindling of the already small Malayan tiger population in the country.

Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar was reported to have said the species was highly prized overseas as it could be used in medicine.

He said Malayan tigers also received demand from the black market.

Dr Xavier said he would instruct his officials to hold a meeting with the army, police, Wildlife and National Parks Department to discuss the issue.