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Tiger sightings along East Coast roads raise serious concerns

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We have the moral responsibility of not encroaching into the territories of our animal and plant kingdoms, says JD Lovrenciear.

The recent sightings of two grown tigers along the roads in Terengganu raise some serious questions.

Why would a ‘Pak Belang’ wander dangerously on a highway instead of its home, the jungle?

In two earlier incidents in recent years, a tiger and a black panther were killed after being hit by vehicles.

Have we knowingly or unknowingly developed a much-needed roadway without an in-depth study into the home grounds of existing wildlife?

Are the authorities to be held responsible when tigers and panthers, known to only roam the deep forests, stray on to roadways?

Or shall we scold these animals for dangerous strolling?

These wild animals normally hide away from human beings and the noise of machinery and vehicles, taking cover in the deep foliage. When they suddenly get in the way on highways, does it not signal to us that something has jeopardised the natural behaviour of these animals?

We need informed, honest and authentic answers from experts; otherwise all the multi-billion ringgit projects expected to continue rolling off from Putrajaya will only cause more serious damage to our wildlife, which is fast vanishing.

We have the moral responsibility of not encroaching into the territories of our animal and plant kingdom. That is called integrated and holistic development.

If we neglect this responsibility, this tiny nation will lose all its natural blessings sooner than projected.

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

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28 Jul 2019 5.13pm

In the wild, our Malayan Tiger (Panthera Tigris) will normally shy away from any human noise, vehicle engine noise & motorbike. Even the smell of human is an alarm bell for these Kings of the jungle.
I have had on many occasions went 4WD trekking in Sedim & Mahang rainforests (Kedah), Sg. Rui (Gerik, Perak), Gua Musang (Kelantan) & Cameron Highlands (Perak) & saw tiger paw prints along the 4WD tracks but had yet to come face to face with one tiger. They are very elusive creatures. A Sedim forest ranger told my friend he once chanced upon a tiger at a blind corner of a jungle track which so surprised the Jungle King causing it to leap 10 feet into the bush!
A tiger will come to a human either it is injured or hungry.

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