Tapir found dead by Johor road

Ben Tan
The dead adult female tapir, believed to be a victim of a hit and run incident, was found along Jalan Padang Tembak in Kluang yesterday. — Picture courtesy of Johor Wildlife and National Parks Department

KLUANG, Jan 17 — The carcass of an adult female tapir was found by the roadside along Jalan Padang Tembak here yesterday.

Johor Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) director Salman Saaban said a passer-by discovered the carcass at around 8am.

He said that a team from the Kluang Perhilitan office was immediately dispatched to the location to investigate.

“The carcass of the tapir, which was about seven-years-old and weighing 350kg, was found with injuries on its head where the mouth was bloodied.

“The department suspects that the animal was hit by a vehicle that caused its death,” said Salman in a statement here today.

Salman said Initial investigations revealed that the tapir was believed to have been hit around midnight before being found the next morning.

He said that checks showed that the stretch of road was dark at night, and the tapir might not have been visible to drivers.

Salman said the carcass was buried at a plantation near Tanah Abang in Mersing after the landowner gave approval.

“This is the third case where a tapir died after being hit by a vehicle in Johor this month alone,” he said.

Previously, the first case for the year where a tapir was killed occurred on January 5 at Batu 20 along Jalan Kota Tinggi-Mersing and the second incident on January 13 along Jalan Tanjung Balau-Sedili Kecil.

Based on last year’s statistics, there are an estimated 1,000 tapirs in the country.

The population of the iconic Malaysian animal has dropped due to several factors, including the loss of their forest habitat.

The tapir is a fully protected species under the Wildlife Act 2010 (Act 716).

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