I read with interest the letter from Caroline Vimla published in the Star Online entitled "Saddened by a series of 'not so good news' about Tigers".
I'm sure there are many animal lovers out there who're concerned not only about how some species are pushed to the brink of extinction; but also about how some of them are treated by humans. And of course they are quick to give their opinions on these matters too. I'm sure there are valid points in their arguments. However, sometimes I just wish that they would support their arguments with at least a bit of evidence.
"Then, a tiger was brutally slain by some orang asli in Bukit Tapah Forest Reserve in Sungkai, Perak."
Although I myself have not done any research on it, I suspect that the orang asli have occupied the land for many generations. It is unfortunately that people have grown in population and require increasingly more living space. Sooner or later, they will one way or another, encroach into the habitat of the animals. Occasionally, there will be clashes between men and animals. People will kill animals; and animals will also kill people. But how do we tell these orang asli, dying in the jaws of the tigers, that they are doing a good job in saving the tigers from extinction? If we have to make a choice, would we rather save the man or the tiger?
"It is evident from the video that the tiger is sedated and not “very tame and comfortable around humans” as claimed."
Unfortunately, the above comment is rested solely on assumption! I really don't know what Caroline Vimla does for a living. I suppose it is possible that she is an expert in wild animals. But I wonder if she is really qualified to determine for cetain that an animal is sedated by merely watching via a video recording. She confidently said that "It is evident from the video that the tiger is sedated...", and dismissed the claim that the tigers are "very tame and comfortable around humans."
"What is the point of increasing or doubling the number of Malayan Tigers when we can't even take care of the existing ones?"
As the human population grow, cities and towns will also grow for housing and other developments. Sooner or later we will have no choice but to invade into the animals' territories. When there is a clash between the two, humans will prevail. The sooner these people accept it, the better. In a few generations from now, perhaps the only place we can see some of these animals is in the zoo, unless if we simply let them all die in the jungle.
So keep these wild animals in cages. Feed them well and groom them everyday. Except that who's gonna pay for the upkeep? Caroline Vimla? So charging entry fees to the zoo, or some sort of charges for taking photographs etc for the sake of protecting the animals seems inevitable. Maybe Caroline Vimla should be thankful that there are still some people who're really doing something to actually save these animals.