Rescued tiger in Malaysia gets a new home

SUNGKAI - The National Wildlife Rescue Centre has a new resident tiger.

The injured animal - now named Yeop Tapah - rescued near Kampung Orang Asli Batu 10 is set to be resettled as it is too dangerous to be released back into the wild after it was caught in a trap set for wild boars.

Perak Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) director Rozidan Mohd Yassin said the male tiger, aged between 14 and 17, was too dangerous to be released back into the wild following its encounter with humans.

"It will attack humans. The tiger will remain at the centre for breeding and conservation purposes," Rozidan told reporters after visiting the tiger here.

He said the tiger, weighing about 170kg, had hurt its right front paw.

"The paw is swollen but it is not serious. The tiger is healthy and behaving aggressively due to the new surrounding.

"It is best that we don't further stress the animal as it may injure itself again," he added.

He said the tiger was ensnared at its roaming area between the Royal Belum and Bukit Fraser range.

"It was within its habitat range on the boundaries between Perak, Kelantan, Pahang and Terengganu. We estimate there are between 400 and 450 tigers in peninsular Malaysia," he said.

Rozidan said Perhilitan was mulling action against the orang asli who had set the trap.

"We recorded statements from the orang asli yesterday. It is an offence to lay traps to catch animals in the jungles," he said.

"Those found having a snare trap can be fined RM100,000 or jailed three years or both.

"Those found guilty of laying the trap can be fined between RM50,000 and RM100,000, and jailed two years.

"We have urged the people, especially the orang asli, to stop laying these traps.

"The orang asli usually lay these traps and wait for about a week. If they do not catch anything, they will just leave them there.

"Any animals trapped later could die of stress and hunger."