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December 25, 2011

Tiger spotted on road in Perak forest complex


PETALING JAYA: A tiger crossing may exist in the Belum-Temengor Forest Complex in Perak, said Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) .

Its conservation officer Lim Wee Siong, who is based in Grik, said he and some colleagues working on an elephant project were driving on the East-West Highway at 4am on Wednesday when they saw the tiger.

“We were the only vehicle on the highway at that moment. The tiger did not go very far away,” he added.

Using a search-light, the group managed to spot the tiger hiding behind some grass. They then took video footage and pictures of the animal.

Chance encounter: The MNS conservation team took pictures and video of the tiger while it was hiding by the roadside.
“It happened really fast. It was the first time I saw a tiger on the road. Elephant crossings happen daily, but a tiger crossing is very rare,” he said.

MNS head of conservation Yeap Chin Aik said the Belum-Temengor area was one of the most important sites for tiger, elephant and tapir conservation.

He said tigers and elephants needed a large area to find resources.

“It probably wasn't the first time the tiger crossed the road. But we want to know why it did so,” he said.

There are an estimated 500 wild tigers left in the peninsula.

The Belum-Temengor Forest Complex forms the last and largest remaining continuous block of natural forest in the peninsula, with a total area of about 300,000ha almost four times the size of Singapore.

When the Royal Belum State Park, which has an area of 117,500ha was gazetted in May 2007, Belum-Temengor remained vulnerable to a host of threats, particularly logging and poaching.

“Globally, tigers are in trouble. They need their habitat to survive. They should be accorded better protection,” said Yeap.




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