Malaysia begins trapping and relocating endangered tigers following fatal attacks on humans in the past two months, as officials express concerns over the worst tiger-related deaths in decades
Malaysia has initiated the trapping and relocating of tigers after three people were killed by the critically endangered animals in the last two months. The country has set up cage traps and cameras in response to the fatal attacks.
In the forested area of Gua Musang district, in Kelantan, Malaysia, eleven cage traps and 20 cameras have been installed to capture and relocate the tigers in the wake of the recent deadly attacks. The traps have been strategically placed in ‘hot spots’ where the attacks occurred, with live goats used to lure the tigers into the traps.
Tiger Population and Conservation Status
The Malayan tiger, classified as critically endangered, faces threats from habitat loss and poaching. Wildlife officials estimate there are fewer than 150 of these tigers remaining in the wild, with a population of about 35 in Kelantan. Attacks on humans by tigers are rare but have occurred due to the encroachment of developments on the animals’ habitat.
Recent Attacks and Wildlife Intervention
Five attacks resulting in four deaths have occurred in Gua Musang since 2021, prompting the trapping and relocation efforts. A female tiger responsible for a previous attack was captured and taken to a sanctuary, but uncertainty remains regarding its involvement in the recent attacks. Additionally, a tiger involved in a deadly attack earlier this year was shot dead by wildlife officials.
Conservation Efforts and Concerns
The decline in the Malayan tiger population is attributed to habitat loss and agricultural expansion, along with the decline in the wild boar population, one of the tiger’s main prey. While relocating the tigers is seen as a practical measure following confirmed attacks on humans, it is acknowledged as a ‘sad situation’ by wildlife officials.