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 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.). : 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.
Book link: http://www.tigerlin k.com/husbandry/ husman.htm "
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!"