Last Thursday (Jul 18), a pair of tigers were seen roaming in Kampung Besul, Dungun. Shortly after a day, one of them was captured by the Wildlife and National Park Department (Perhilitan).
Using tranquilliser dart, the tiger was caught when it was resting in bushes some 500m from the main road of Kampung Besul Lama, Malaysiakini reported.
Sadly, today (Jul 23), the captured tiger passed away after efforts to save it from a virus were futile.
According to Kosmo, the nicknamed “Awang Besol” tiger died at about 5.30am this morning at the National Wildlife Rescue Centre (NWRC) in Sungkai, Perak.
The male tiger was infected by the Canine Temper Disorder virus, an infection that could easily pass from domesticated pets such as dogs or to other wildlife animals, including tigers.
Perhilitan said the five-year-old projected these neurological symptoms when it was under the care of NWRC: “it was not aggressive, walking in circles, experienced seizures and had nasal discharge.”
The department also added that the tiger suffered injuries on its legs and was dehydrated when captured last Friday.
“If the disease infects a tiger, it will display behaviour of not being afraid of humans and the possibility of healing is very small,” Perhilitan added.
Perhilitan would not rule out the possibility that the virus was spread by other wild animals around the village.
As for another tiger spotted along with Awang Besol last week, Perhilitan is still monitoring the area and traps have been set up. They urged members of the public to call 1-800-88-5151 if the tiger was spotted.
The death of Awang Besol went viral after Perhilitan posted a statement on Facebook. The department also shared many pictures of Awang Besol.
In them, the supposed apex predator looked like a good Felidae − like a giant cat we would pet at home.
You can read Perhilitan’s full statement and other posts on the next page.