KOTA BHARU: The Malayan tiger, scientifically known as Panthera Tigris Jacksoni, is the only subspecies of tiger that still exists in the world and the animal is only found in Malaysia.
Following an incident of an Orang Asli man being mauled to death by a tiger in Kampung Sau, near Pos Bihai in Gua Musang, last Jan 7, there is general perception in the society that the Malayan tiger will attack humans when they come into conflict with one another.
However, this was refuted by the Kelantan Wildlife and National Parks (Wildlife) Department director Mohamad Hafid Rohani.
He said a tiger would not attack humans because it is not its nature to do so.
"A Malayan tiger will not go near, but will run away when it is in conflict with humans or smells them,” he said when met by Bernama, recently.
Mohamad Hafid said the Malayan tigers feed on wildlife in the forest such as wild boar and deer, which proved that humans were not food for them.
"Usually these Malayan tigers will attack humans when they are threatened by humans themselves, like when they are being hunted, lost their natural habitat and food sources.
"They will not attack if they are not disturbed or threatened,” he added.
Mohamad Hafid said a total of 63 reports on tigers were received by the Kelantan Wildlife between 2015 and 2021 and none involved humans mauled to death by a tiger.
"The reports included on sighting of the animal or hearing its roar, with the highest number of reports received in 2017, totaling 18, followed by 11 in 2020 and 10 last year,” he added.
During the period, he said, only one tiger was caught, which was last year in Kampung Badak near Pos Bihai, in Gua Musang, and the animal was handed over to the National Wildlife Rescue Center in Sungkai, Perak.
Meanwhile, Wildlife deputy director-general (Conservation) Datuk Fakhrul Hatta Musa, when appearing as a guest on a television talk show recently, said that from 2011 to 2020, there were a total of 37 cases of seizures involving Malayan tigers.
The seizures included four live Malayan tigers, as well as four dead Malayan tigers, skin, body parts, skeleton, teeth and claws of the animal, he added.- Bernama