Rela man wrong in shooting tiger

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Rela man wrong in shooting tiger

Thursday June 24, 2010

IPOH: The Perak Wildlife Protection and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) has wrapped up its probe on the killing of a three-year-old tiger, saying that the Rela member was in the wrong to shoot the animal.

He should not have taken action on his own, Perhilitan director Shabrina Mohd Shariff said.

“Everything must be done according to the law.”

She said the case had now been forwarded to the office of the Deputy Public Prosecutor for further action.

On Tuesday, a villager of Kampung Ulu Damaq in Selama, alerted a Rela member about a tiger which had apparently killed poultry, besides foraging for food at a nearby forest reserve.

The Rela member subsequently used a shotgun to kill the 120kg beast.

In Kuala Lumpur, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said that the villagers should have alerted Perhilitan promptly when they first spotted the tiger to ensure their safety and that of the tiger’s.

Expressing his outrage over the shooting of the tiger, he said the reason for killing the animal was unacceptable.

“We can rear poultry or buy them in the market but not tigers. Tigers must be protected,” Dr Chua said, adding that the animal also had a very special place in the Malaysian culture.

“We (MCA) have received many calls from the public expressing their unhappiness and outrage over the shooting (of the tiger),” he said in a statement yesterday.

Malaysian Nature Society communications head Andrew Sebas­tian said the villagers should have contacted Perhilitan first to seek their expertise and not act on their own.

“They cannot simply shoot and kill any tiger on sight. Tigers are endangered and protected species,” said Sebastian yesterday.

He said the Rela member who shot the tiger should also know about guidelines on firing their guns.

“Were there any warning shots to scare the big cat away?” he asked.

Sebastian said the society was in full support of Perhilitan.

“We hope that there would be strict punishment for the Rela member if there was any wrongdoing,” he added.

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