Those guilty could face a fine of not less than RM150,000 and imprisonment for up to 15 years.
The Department of Wildlife Protection and National Parks (Perhilitan) has lodged a police report after a group of local men took the whiskers of a dead Malayan tiger.
The tiger who was hit by a trailer truck, got its whiskers stolen after it was found dead on the North-South Expressway (PLUS) southbound near the Gua Tempurung stop yesterday.
“The act is an offense according to Section 68 © (Act A1646) of the Wildlife Conservation (Amendment) Act 2022.
“Those who own or keep fully protected wild animals including their derivatives such as nails, bones, skin, whiskers, without permission if convicted shall be fined not less than RM150,000 and imprisoned for a period not exceeding 15 years,” said Director of Perhilitan, Yusoff Shariff.
Yusoff made the complaint after carrying out the autopsy of the male tiger at the Sungkai Wildlife Sanctuary (NWRC). The tiger was said to be of 8 to 10 years of age.
“When I did the inspection, only the whiskers were missing while the nails, teeth, fangs and others were still on the tiger,” reported Yusoff.
Yusoff’s statement certainly holds true as there was a video that showed several men stealing the tiger’s whiskers when it was found dead.
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Lack of food resources
The unfortunate incident was believed to have happened due to the tiger venturing out of its natural habitat.
As confirmed by State Science, Environment and Green Technology Committee chairman Teh Kok Lim, the animal moved due to a lack of food sources.
In fact, the tiger is believed to be the animal that previously attacked livestock and caused a disturbance to the people of Kampung Sahom, Kampar.
The death of the Malayan tiger was certainly unfortunate.
Given that there are fewer than 200 Malayan tigers in the wild, this is an indication that the animal population needs more protection as they are at a real risk of extinction.
After all, they are only exclusively found here in Malaysia and play an instrumental role in balancing our forest ecology.