An endangered mature and healthy Malayan Tiger was killed while crossing the East West Highway 2 (LPT2), mowed down by an MPV early this morning.
According to a brief incident report by highway patrol crew sighted by Cars, Bikes & Trucks, it was reported that the tiger was struck down at km 321.2 of the LPT Northbound at around 1.00am. It appears that the tiger was trying to cross the highway when the MPV knocked it down. KM321.2 is at a section of the highway between Paka and Kerteh, Trengganu.
This is a first case involving a tiger on the East West Highway 2 since it opened a few years ago.
However, it is not the first time a tiger has been killed while crossing a highway. The first recorded incident happened in November 3 1998, when another male Malayan Tiger was hit by an express bus in Pahang.
Understandably, Animal activists and NGOs that have nature at heart are up in arms to protest such a tragedy, which has long been foretold by them. Tapirs, Pangolins, Elephants and Civet cats have not been spared from ending up as road kills, noted a Malaysian Nature Society official who has been engaging the government in many cases when highways are planned.
However, the authorities have not acted on these proposal, and only a limited number of viaducts and underpass is available for these wild animals to seek refuge when crossing the man made highways.
According to Tropical Rainforest Conservation & Research Centre’s Executive Director Dr.Dzaeman Dzulkifli, TRCRC has been advocating the need to build more sanctuary and safe passages for wild animals as highways expand and carve out natural forests in which these animals thrive. The lack of such crossings and viaducts forces animals to break through sections of fences, and in most cases oddly carved out terrain which suits the concession holders that eventually result in the unsafe crossing of these animals.
Although Dr.Dzaeman cannot ascertain if the Paka-Kerteh section is fenced up, he shared from his experience that not all sections of the highway is well fenced and maintained.
When contacted, Malaysian Highway Authorities chose not to answer our questions but requested for our questions to be emailed to them, which we have and shall publish a follow up story to the efforts taken by the concession as well as the authorities in preserving wildlife in these vulnerable stretches of the highway.
Pix courtesy of LKBM Crew & DAily TRaffic REport