Malayan Tiger seen at the Zoo Melaka and Night Safari Foto Bernama
By Fadzli Ramli
MELAKA (Bernama) -- The Harimau Malaya, or Malayan tiger, has been a national icon for over half a century. The Coat of Arms of Malaysia feature two Malayan tigers for supporters. The name of the national football team is Harimau Malaya while the national hockey team is called the Speedy Tigers.
Indeed, in theory, Malaysians hold the Malayan tiger high. However, when it comes to the protection and conservation of the species, how well do they hold up?
Sadly, there might be as few as only 250 Malayan tigers left in Peninsular Malaysia, according to WWF-Malaysia (World Wide Fund for Nature). This is in contrast to 500 in 1990 and around 5,000 in 1950.
The drastic dwindling of population of Malayan tigers is due to poaching and loss of habitat due to the number of forests being cleared to build roads and other development projects.
Yet this fact is one that is so little known among Malaysians today. Where is that spirit and pride Malaysians proclaim to have for the now critically-endangered species?
The CEO of Zoo Melaka and Night Safari, R. Raja Segran noted this was the greatest challenge faced by every zoo - to translate visitor enthusiasm into love for the animals and subsequently the passion to protect them from threats and extinction.
Zoos are not animal exhibits, he emphasised. It instead plays the vital role of helming wildlife conservation efforts in the country.....