Thai probe shows tiger parts came from Malaysia
By Hilary Chiew
Saturday July 11, 2009
PETALING JAYA: Investigations by Thai wildlife authorities have confirmed that some of the tiger parts confiscated in Thailand last year belonged to the Malayan tiger, a specie found only in Peninsula Malay-sia.
Dr Suchitra Changtragoon from the Forest Genetics and Biotech-nology Group said genetic fingerprinting revealed that the parts came from three species of tigers — the Indochinese, Amur and Malayan.
The group comes under the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department of Thai-land.
The group investigated 17 meat samples obtained from the seizure of animal parts early this year.
Twelve were found to be tiger meat, three were leopard meat and the rest were meat from the clouded leopard.
Of the 12 tiger samples, five were from Malayan tigers, five were from Indochinese tigers and the remaining two were from Amur tigers.
The findings were published in a scientific journal made available to The Star. The report is also published on the department’s website (http://www.dnp.go.th).
In January this year, three tiger carcasses, weighing up to 250kg, were seized from a truck passing through Hua Hin while in February, two tiger and one panther carcasses were recovered from a truck in Pattani.
In both cases, police said they were believed to have come from Malaysia and the parts were bound for Laos which is believed to be a transit point for Vietnam and China.
Most of the big cats had been cut in half and their organs and pelts removed.
When contacted, Department of Wildlife and National Park’s (Perhi-litan) Saharudin Anan said the results were not conveyed to Malaysia.
“This is news to me. We had requested through the official channels when it was reported that those seizures included the Malayan tiger.
“But until today we are still waiting for the results,” said the law and enforcement division director.