Male tapir ‘run over by van’ in Johor

A female tapir found dead last month at the Kota Tinggi-Mersing road. Another tapir, a male, was found dead today. (Bernama pic)

JOHOR BAHRU: A male tapir was found dead near the Mersing Industrial Training Institute at the Mersing-Jemaluang road last night and is believed to have been hit by a vehicle.

It is the fifth case this year of a tapir falling victim to a road accident.

Johor Wildlife and National Parks Department director Salman Saaban said the tapir was estimated to be six years old and weighed some 200kg. The carcass was found by members of the public at 9.45pm.

“Based on the information received, four staff members from the Mersing district Perhilitan office rushed to the scene. Upon arriving at the location at 10pm, we found the male tapir dead,” he said, adding that the complainant claimed it was hit by a van.

“An examination of the tapir also found injuries to the head and body, as well as drag marks.

“Initial investigations revealed that agricultural activities in the area had forced the tapirs to come out of their habitat,” he said in a statement here today.

The endangered Malayan tapir is classified as a totally protected species under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010.