Many people have asked us whether we can still find wild tiger locations in Malaysia?
Well, Malayan tigers in the wild are found mainly in the states of
Pahang, Perak, Kelantan and Terengganu while smaller numbers are
dispersed in the jungles of some other states of Peninsular Malaysia.
Behavior of Tigers
They are mostly solitary animals, usually stalking and catching their preys alone. If they come together, it is during the season to mate. A female tiger produces a litter size of one to four very cute cubs.
Unlike most cats, the Malayan tigers often swim and play in water -- streams, edge of rivers and lakes.
Well, they certainly can cross shallow rivers by swimming with their heads above water. As the biggest of the forest predators, the hot and humid tropical weather probably also affects them!
Being carnivores, their diet and natural preys consist mainly of large mammals, including wild pigs, sambar and barking deers, young seladangs and wild cattle.
If they are really hungry, just like us humans, they will feed on almost any available animal they can find, like monkeys and sunbears.
Observing the Tigers
If you are a keen mammal or tiger watcher and want to observe this magnificent animal in the wild, there are a few locations in the country where they can still be found.
But of course we cannot easily spot them. (That is putting it so mildly). In actual fact, it is very, very rare to find or see a tiger, or other big mammals, in the rainforests.
Their characteristic striping pattern of vertical black stripes on orange fur and some white at the neck and below, provide excellent camouflage in the thick and relatively dark rainforest.
Although we can try to be very quiet, they probably can sniff us hundreds of meters away with their very great sense of smell.
Like most big and wild animals in the forests, they are very rare and elusive, and very shy probably.
They always try to avoid humans if they can, and we all know the reasons, right?
So please don't have high expectations when you go to these places.
The following are some of the locations at Malaysian wildlife parks and reserves where we may, if lucky enough, be able to see from our hideouts and observe them in the wild:-
They can be seen, if we are fortunate, at the salt licks in the rainforest, where animals usually come to get their water and mineral intakes.
Professional and expert wildlife guides and nature trekkers can tell the presence of these animals by their fresh tracks or pug marks on the mud, but it is usually after they have long gone.
In the Zoo
We can, of course, watch at leisure some malayan tigers in the zoological parks in Malaysia.
There are a few at the National Zoo (Zoo Negara) in Kuala Lumpur, as well as at the Melaka Zoo in Melaka, and the Taiping Zoo in Perak.
And I saw one medium - sized juvenile at the mini-zoo in Temerloh, Pahang a few years back.
The Melaka Zoo is said to have the largest captive breeding facility for Malayan tigers, and they have successfully bred many tiger cubs which are sent to other zoos locally and abroad.
Well, I hope you saw the wild Malayan tiger in the tiger locations above. And if you did, congrats.
Do write and share with us your wonderful experience.
But most of all, protect the environment and help save the magnificent animal from extinction.