Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tiger Show Will Go On

Tiger Blogfest 2010 has started this week from April 19-23 2010, initiated and brainchild of His Royal Highness Monyet King or a blogger simply known as Planet of the Monyets

Since the heat is on, I wish to jump on the wagon by rambling about our Langkawi's only tiger.

Most people know that tigers are not found on Langkawi. The picture above was taken by M during her visit at Oriental Village last August. Here is our story: Over here kitty, kitty

What had happened from there?
To make the story short... MYCAT came to know and helped to investigate. Perhilitan (Wildlife Department) confirmed the owner of this tiger in captivity has all the legal papers and documents. Therefore, this tiger stays. How and when the tiger was brought in? Don't know.

My main concern is: 
Does Langkawi need a tiger or two for tourists attraction when tigers are not native on the island? 

Not knowing how much MYCAT has found out, I was eventually told off by MYCAT that I must not get them involved in this case. This is because they have a bigger picture, bigger issues to deal with. Is MYCAT right? Maybe. What is ONE LEGAL tiger in captivity as compared to less than 500 in the wild.

Great. If this issue does not fall under MYCAT jurisdiction, I do not know who else could help.  How about the media? Coincidentally, Hillary Chiew of The Star was pursuing her articles on Anson Wong, the Malaysian King Poacher. I wrote to her a couple of times, hoping that she would help. No replies from her and I was encouraged not to follow up with Hillary.

...few months later since August 2009

The show must go on...

We were back at Oriental Village and found the glass enclosure for the tiger was almost ready.

When will the show start? Don't know but anytime soon. Psst... from the grapevine, another tiger is on its way.

M wrote a letter to the Star, NST, Malaysiakini and only www.ecomalaysia.org helped to publish. Thankfully, our Royal Highness Monyet King came along and helped to highlight it in his blog: http://planetofthemonyets.blogspot.com/2010/03/lone-tiger-in-langkawi.html

Once again, we circulated the letter to the members of Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) Langkawi Chapter. Somehow, a reply came from a Programme Assistant of the East and South East Asia Conservation Programme, Zoological Society of London. These were her interesting comments that was circulated to members of MNS:

"There is no need to rehabilitate this tiger as captive tigers play a very important role in tiger conservation.  A good captive tiger exhibit can educate, inspire and help raise awareness about the plight of wild tigers.  

In addition, it would not be possible to rehabilitate this tiger because all Sumatran tigers in Malaysian zoos have been genetically tested and verified to be hybrids.  The tiger at Langkawi is a descend of tiger 974, who was part Indochinese tiger.  Therefore, the tiger at Langkawi is not a purebred Sumatran tiger, but rather a Sumatran-Indochines e hybrid.
In regards to husbandry and good exhibit plans, I will send you a link to the book Management and Conservation of Captive Tigersby R. Tilson, G. Brady, K. Traylor-Holzer, and D. Armstrong (eds.). Minnesota Zoo: Apple Valley, MN, 1994: 1-136. 2nd edition.  This is an excellent resource which should help you find out all you need to know tiger enclosures and anything else you might have questions about regarding keeping tigers in captivity.

So, what does that mean? 

Has it been DNA proven that this tiger on Langkawi is a hybrid?

Sadly, there were some MNS members who were happy with that information and applauded the sender for sharing that. From those responses, it left me and M wondering:

So, it is OK for Langkawians to have captive tigers in Langkawi then. As long as the tiger is well kept and well groomed?

Since the HUGE task of bringing in an elephant to Oriental Village was a peanut, why not tigers? And these will be next on their list: Rhinocerous, Orang Utan, Tembadau, Probosis Monkeys,  Tapir, and a Dodo bird...

Hey, how about an idea for Langkawi Authority to promote Langkawi as:
"Why travel to both West Malaysia and Borneo when you can see all sorts of wildlife on Langkawi Geopark and the best part of it is, you can view all of them in Oriental Village!"


  1. Hi,

    To me that tiger look sick. But would like to congratulate you for all the effort. If the tiger have friends who care like you, the Monyet King initiative should go a long way.

    Your site is my #31 of Tiger Blogfest 2010 Drop By Marathon.

    Keep it up.

  2. Hi d'enricher;
    Thank you for your comments.

    Please don't congratulate me. You must thank M for bringing this up and her letters to the relevenat ppl. I didn't do much to make a HUGE EFFECTIVE impact.

    Also, we try not to be overly caring. Because if we care too much, we may end up like other victims on Langkawi... being abducted, killed and thrown into the sea or even with a decaptivated body found in the middle of the coastal road. Yes, is true. These happened without reported in the newspaper.

    There is a lot of rich powerful businessmen here on this island. They are controlling this place like mafias.

  3. Good piece.

    I must ask tho, if this tiger is removed from Langkawi, who would take it then? I'd rather see a live tiger, tho captive, than one dead and sold to traders.


    The defender of Langkawi's forest and animals
    (and may be some duty free stuff as well)
    Cheers and well done.

  5. Hi Wilykat;
    You have a point there. Of course, it is better to see it alive than in various pieces.

    My hope is that this tiger will be removed back to the mainland zoo, where it originally belonged.

    From my grapevine, this tiger was born in captive.

    Hi Monyet King;
    Not sure if I can take it. Such a huge meaning, Defender. Heh..heh... i feel myself more of a paparazzi and a reporter instead of a defender. Also, not sure how much of the impact i can make with this. Just hoping to spread the messages across.

  6. MYCAT (a coalition of which MNS is a part of) operates the 24-hour Wildlife Crime Hotline for members of the public to report suspected wildlife CRIMES.

    So, unfortunately, while the people of Langkawi may not WANT a tiger on the island, if wildlife laws have not been violated (ie. a crime has not been committed) there really is nothing MYCAT can do.

    Hope the distinction between an actual crime, and a situation less-desired can be seen.

    While MYCAT does not promote keeping tigers in captivity, no crime appears to have been committed with regard to this particular tiger and therefore not something the Wildlife Crime Hotline can help with.

    Perhaps there are other avenues available. And if the issue is about non-native animals found on the island, perhaps it would be prudent to not just focus on this one tiger but include all the non-native animals found at other animal-based tourist attractions there and maybe that way you could find the support of a Langkawi authority to put in place a policy on this issue?

    And by the way, regarding being 'told off by MYCAT' because you 'must not get them involved in this case' ... I recall reminding you to be discreet about communication with us on this matter because the hotline is founded on confidentiality. Perhaps you misunderstood.

    Good luck, and keep up the good work.

    Loretta Ann Shepherd
    MYCAT Programme Coordinator

    Wildllife Crime Hotline
    0193564194 / report@malayantiger.net

  7. Hi Loretta;
    Thanks for clearing the air.

    I had to do a mass email asking for help during that time because there was lack of support from relevant parties that I expect to get help from. So, as time was running out and that was the least I could do to get something done.
    I also recall that I did not mention or type the word "MYCAT" in that email at that time. Someone else did, I just supported it.

    Whatever it is now, it is TOO LATE. There is nothing can be done now as the show has started. Another tiger is on its coming to the island. Not sure when but surely. This is to keep the spectators' mouths shut because some of them felt pity over one tiger. They felt it should have a partner.

    Since the show has now started, I will sign off this assignment. The only thing I can do is to discourage tourists from visiting that place.

  8. I will tell you something from my heart, if I EVER see someone raising a hand on an animal (even here in Langkawi, which has happened with results) I will personally make sure that their life will not be the same physically after I am through with them. You can be the president, the King or anyone for that matter. NO one has the right to Hit or Capture animals for public entertainment. If you want to learn about animals, go to Africa! What? You Cant afford to go?! Well, there's always National Geographic on Astro and every Malaysian has TV so there's enough to be learned about animals and nature and history without captivating an animal.
    How about we learn how to pick up after ourselves first, and then learn about nature?
    I am sorry, but I am beyond upset....the irresponsibility of everyone as a whole is repulsive.

  9. What a load of utter rubbish you guys are spouting. I take no pleasure in captive animals, but th degree of hysteria here is ridiculous. If (and I mean if) the animal is well cared for, then it can help to appropriately educate and inform locals and tourists alike about the Tiger's plight. I would be happy to support the Tiger's movement elsewhere if it proved a higher standard of captivity, but its proximity to its original habitat isn't grounds for higher quality captivity.

    1. We are not entirely against tiger/s in captive for the purpose of education but we disagree for this tiger to be on Langkawi. Let the tiger be on the mainland or proper zoo. Have you seen how this tiger is being displayed in Oriental village? If you think there are some education about tigers going on in Oriental village then please think again before you post your comment. We are shameful to have people like you on this planet.


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