With a price of up to RM800,000, the Malayan Tiger is prime bounty for poachers

23 Oct 2019 / 11:03 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Foreign poachers are setting up camps in jungles in Peninsular Malaysia to hunt protected animals due to the high price offered by illegal traders of wildlife parts.

A Malayan Tiger carcass can fetch between RM500,000 and RM800,000 and with that kind of money involved, foreign poachers are prepared to camp in the jungles for up to three months and use whatever means to kill the endangered animals.

Thousands of snares have been planted in our jungles and the authorities are concerned that the situation may fall beyond rehabilitation if intense and constant enforcement action is not undertaken.

Three foreigners were held for such activities last year while seven have been arrested this year.

“We have two issues to address – the poacher and the snares,” federal police internal security and public order deputy director DCP Datuk Mastor Mohd Ariff said yesterday.

“There are more than 2,000 snares planted in the jungles. We managed to destroy more than 100. If a snare traps a tiger, its paw will snap off after a week or two. We have spotted such crippled tigers with a lost limb roaming the jungles. Some other animals were found dead as a result of the snares.”

Mastor said police and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks launched an operation called Ops Bersepadu Khazanah on Sept 9 to curb poaching.

Together with the police elite jungle tracking unit, Senoi Praaq of the General Operations Force, teams were dispatched to the jungles.

He said between Oct 10 and 20, four operations at Felcra Sungai Temau, Kuala Lipis, Kampung Padang Kunyit, Gerik, the Endau-Rompin National Park and Tembat Forest Reserve in Hulu Terengganu led to the arrest of seven Cambodians and three Malaysians aged between 30 and 50.

The raiding parties also seized pangolin scales, porcupine spikes, tiger hide, sandalwood, scores of snares and other animal parts estimated to be worth RM908,000.

“The foreigners enter Malaysia both legally and illegally. They will stay at makeshift camps for between one and three months to hunt protected animals before a new batch of foreigners take over.

“Initially, they did this for sandalwood but have now resorted to poaching as well. All these are smuggled into Thailand where they fetch high prices. Our operation will continue until we rid our jungles of such unscrupulous people.”

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