PETALING JAYA: A tapir was killed by a van in a forested area near Segamat, Johor on Saturday (June 9).
According to a Facebook post by The Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan), the incident occurred at about 6am.
The area where the tapir was hit is a place known for wildlife crossings. There is even a signboard placed not far from where the tapir was hit by the van.
According to Perhilitan director-general Datuk Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim, a total of 25 tapirs died last year after being hit by vehicles.
‘The tapir is a nocturnal animal. It was probably moving after mating or it was looking for food,” he told the Star Online when contacted.
“We can only hope that drivers are careful and alert where there are signboards and along places where there are forests,” he added.
He said there was an estimated population of over 1,000 tapirs in the country.
Abdul Kadir said that the population of the iconic Malaysian animal has dropped due to several factors, including the loss of their forest habitat.
The tapir is a fully protected species under the Wildlife Act 2010 (Act 716).
Based on Perhilitan's statistics, a total of 2,444 wildlife have been roadkill victims from 2012 to 2017.
Over the period, monitor lizards recorded the highest number of roadkills at 764, followed by civet cats (446), monkeys (439), wild boars (265), snakes (147) and wild cats (88).
Threatened wildlife species that have been victims of roadkill are tapirs (69), sun bears (6), elephants (4), mountain goats (2), panthers (2) and tiger (1).