Malaysia: Tiger crossing Eastern Expressway killed by vehicle

Malaysian government estimates that tiger population in the country has fallen from at least 3,000 to around 500 over past 50 years.

Malaysian tiger killed in road accident
A Malayan tiger named "Kathy" is seen at the National Zoo in Kuala Lumpur December 17, 2009. Malaysian government launched a "Tiger Action Plan" to protect against wild tigers in the region, where the species was reported a drastic drop in population from at least 3,000 to around 500 over past 50 years Reuters

A tiger was killed in a highway accident in Malaysia's East Coast expressway, adding to the country's rising number of road kills.

The adult tiger was knocked down by a multi-purpose vehicle at KM 321.2 of the East Coast Expressway 2 (LPT2), The Malay Mail reported.

The MPV is supposed to have rammed into the tiger a little past midnight as the animal was crossing the road.

The passengers in the Kuala Terengganu-bound vehicle were unhurt, State Public Order and Traffic chief Kamaluddin Mohamad told the daily. They had set out from Kuala Lumpur.

"Watch out for animals such as deer, tapir, wild boar as well as goats, cows and buffaloes which roam the area," the officer said, urging the LPT 2 road users to be careful when driving at night.

Environmentalists and animal welfare organisations have been urging the government to plan wildlife corridors and wildlife barriers along the highways, which have become unsafe for the animals.

Apart from road kills, mega road construction through forests unsettles animal ecosystem and makes it easier for poachers and vandals to gain access to animal habitats, reports have said.

Incursions to animal habitats push them into populated areas, exposing them to poaching, poisoning and other forms of harassment by people.

This article was first published on February 6, 2016