Today a male Malayan Tapir was found dead on the side of Gua Musang-Kuala Krai road near the Felda Chiku settlement in Kelantan. It was believed a vehicle had hit and dragged it for 15 metres, FMT reported.
A civilian passing through the area at about 7:45 am today saw the tapir’s remains, which weighed 450kg, said Kelantan Wildlife and National Parks Department director Ady Ermanty Haniff Mohamed Hanif.
The eight-year-old tapir was believed to have been hit by a vehicle between midnight and early morning. “Initial investigations indicate the tapir was trying to cross the road before being rammed by a vehicle in the darkness,” he said in a statement today.
He added that the tapir left its habitat to look for food in the area. According to the department’s records, three tapirs were killed after being run over by a vehicle in the state last year.
Just last month, it was reported that a baby elephant was found dead after being hit by a large vehicle on the JRTB highway. Perhilitan has urged the public to be more vigilant when on the road, especially during the night so accidents like this won’t happen.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates there are less than 1,500 Malayan Tapirs in Malaysia, and less than 2,500 remains in Southeast Asia.