Friday, December 13

Only 23 tigers left in Royal Belum, Temenggor

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Tuanku Zara Salim (centre)  shares a light moment with children in tiger costumes from Permata Permai kindergarten when attending the Malaysian-level International Tigers Day celebration at Taman Inai in Gerik, Perak yesterday. — Bernama photo

GERIK: Perbadanan Taman Negeri Perak (PTNPk) estimates that there are only 23 tigers left in the Royal Belum and Temenggor forest reserves.

Its general manager Mohamed Shah Redza Hussein said the figure was about a 60 per cent drop from the over 60 tigers recorded in the two forest reserves seven years ago.

He said the biggest threat to the tiger population at the two habitats was poaching, believed to be done by foreigners especially from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia and aided by locals.

“If we do not act now, we will have less than 10 (tigers). A population this low is not enough for breeding.

“If this happens, it means tigers will become extinct in Royal Belum and Temenggor,” he told reporters after attending the Malaysian-level International Tigers Day celebration held at Taman Inai here yesterday.

He added that the Perak Wildlife Department had stepped up monitoring and enforcement to stamp out poaching of tigers in the two habitats.

The celebration was graced by Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Zara Salim, Raja Dihilir Perak Raja Iskandar Dzulkarnain Sultan Idris A’fifullah Shah, Raja Kecil Besar Raja Azlan Muzzaffar Shah and Puteri Sultan Perak Raja Nazira Safya .

Also present was local celebrity Maya Karin. — Bernama