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Monday, January 23, 2012

Tiger! Tiger! clarifies tiger on its premises

THE management of Tiger! Tiger! Langkawi refers to “Stop permits for zoos” (The Star, Jan 14). As managers of captive animal programmes, we recognise that even the best efforts by the best zoos will have their detractors. Therefore, we welcome criticism of our programmes.
However, we feel somewhat aggrieved by misleading information in the letter by Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM), and would like to clarify several points, as well as to add.

Tiger! Tiger! opened on Feb 14, 2010, as a private initiative towards increasing awareness of the Malayan Tiger and highlighting the plight of the 500 remaining wild Malayan Tigers.
Tiger! Tiger! is open to the public on a free admission basis, although guests are welcome to contribute donations towards the upkeep of the tiger. Tiger! Tiger! does not conduct photography sessions with the tiger.
Subsequently, Bolaven Cafes commenced operations on May 1, 2011. As such, Tiger! Tiger! brought the cafe to its premises, and not otherwise as implied by SAM. Bolaven Cafes was selected on the back of its humanitarian initiatives helping coffee farmers break the cycle of poverty in Laos, where the coffee is grown.

Tiger! Tiger! has never claimed to be conservationists. However, as owners of wildlife, we fully recognise that our primary duty is to provide responsible care for our animals. Furthermore, we primarily work with tame wildlife (and not “wild” as suggested).
While guests are often excited at the prospect of our finding a mate for our tiger, we do not harbour captive breeding programmes for the sole purpose of having more tigers.
However, if SAM were to initiate a programme to re-introduce captive tigers into the wild, for example, we would throw our full support behind the initiative by conditioning tigers for the purpose of release.
The question that really begs asking – considering that the estimated 500 wild tigers in 2010 in Malaysian jungles meant that there were 100 fewer tigers than there were in 1998 – is how many tigers will there be in 2022, the next Year of the Tiger?
No tiger country, except Russia, has recorded an increase in wild tiger populations. Ultimately, like SAM, we would like to see wild tiger populations in Malaysia increase, and we would also like to contribute towards this.

However, until SAM or other similarly chartered NGOs succeed at protecting our forests and tiger habitats, zoos will be the only safe haven for our tigers: captive or wild.
Meanwhile, we keep to our primary duty of caring for animals to the best of our abilities.
Lastly, the origins of our permits date back to 1997. In all fairness to the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, we do not believe any new zoo permit or special permit has been issued by it.

Tiger! Tiger! Langkawi.

Full letter here.

 AL :-
The best thing to do now is both party sit down & discuss the way forward. With reference to applicable laws. Both have present the case & its not a good thing to discuss in public. 


Dreamer said...

Thank you for putting this up, Anak Langkawi.

I will certainly like to see more tourists (the discerning ones) will step up and voice out on such issue. Well done and kudos to that tourist!

It is about time to stop bringing in more "exotic" animals whereby it is not native to the island.

Dreamer said...
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