Malaysian wildlife authorities rescued a five-year old Malayan tiger, badly injured in a snare set up by poachers near the country's jungle border with Thailand, officials said Monday.
"We received a tip-off on Saturday and a joint patrol with the World Wildlife Fund for Nature-Malaysia's wildlife protection unit found the injured animal," northern Perak state wildlife and National Parks director Sabrina Shariff told AFP.
"The tiger's paw was very badly damaged as the snare had cut it to the bone, so we administered first aid and transferred the animal on Sunday to the Malacca Zoo for further treatment," she added.
"We face a major problem from Thai and Malaysian poachers who set up numerous snares in the Belum-Temengor forest reserve area between the two countries, with such traps normally located close to roads as the animals are attracted by sound and food smells."
Sabrina said authorities were also concerned that poachers were targeting other wildlife in the area including Bucking deers, whose footprints were found around other snares near the tiger.
"We normally find the snares and remove them but they are usually empty so this is the first time we have found one with an animal still intact," she said.
"This incident clearly demonstrates the need for a stronger enforcement presence in the Belum-Temengor area," WWF-Malaysia chief Dionysius Sharma said in a statement.
"If this isn't enough of a clarion call for the government to afford more resources to form an anti-poaching Task Force, I don't know what is," he added.
Wildlife biologist Dr Kae Kawanishi says there are only 500 wild tigers in peninsular Malaysia, a sharp decline from an estimated 3,000 in the 1950s.
The government said in July it had sought the help of the military to battle poaching, adding that Malaysia was committed to an ambitious plan to double the tiger population to 1,000 by 2020.
(c) 2009 AFP
Explore further: Prized sea snail not at risk of extinction, federal officials say