Tuesday, October 4, 2022
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Malayan tapirs appear on Pahang streets after flooding

The flood was the result of an unprecedented amount of rainfall in Malaysia between Dec. 17 and 18, which had also swept across several other states including Selangor, Terengganu, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, Malacca, Perak, and Kuala Lumpur.

An adult Malayan tapir and what appears to be its calf were seen wading through the flooded streets of Pahang, Malaysia.

The devastating flood had claimed at least 27 lives, and displaced some 65,000 individuals and countless cats and dogs.

Other stranded animals include the pair of Malayan tapirs, as seen in a video attached to a tweet by @changing_shade on Dec. 20, that has since gone viral and garnered over 800,000 views.

In the 30-second video, two endangered Malayan tapirs could be seen wading through a relatively abandoned waterlogged road that was lined with cars on one side and houses on the other, where a noticeably larger Malayan tapir was followed by a smaller one.

The creatures made a brief stop beside one of the parked cars, before they got spooked by the humans and made a quick escape.

The same pair of Malayan tapirs was seen in another tweet by @fayevals, who saw the creatures at Bukit Rangin Perdana, Kuantan in the state of Pahang.

This was confirmed by The New Straits Times, who reported that the tapirs were spotted near the forest area along the Kuantan bypass stretch, which is not far from Bukit Rangin.

According to The New Straits Times, Perhilitan’s director Rozidan Md Yasin said the department was aware of the wandering Malayan tapirs.

Rozidan said the creatures might have strayed into the urbanised housing settlement in search of food, but have since fled towards a nearby forested and hilly area behind Bukit Rangin, not far from where they were originally sighted.

About Malayan tapirs

While Malayan tapirs are mammals, they are surprisingly good swimmers, and can even hold their breath for as long as 90 seconds.

Malayan tapirs are classified as “Endangered” in the International Union for Conversation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, and the Tapir Specialist Group estimates that there are only 2,000 of these half-black-half-white creatures left in the wild.

Out of the four species of tapirs, the others being Lowland tapir, Baird’s tapir, and Mountain tapir, the Malayan tapir is the only one found within Asia.

In Malaysia, these creatures have also been sighted in Terrengganu, besides the current incident in Kuantan, Pahang.

These creatures can also be found in southern Thailand, southern Myanmar and in Sumatra, Indonesia, where they inhabit rainforests, or low mountainous forests.

They feed on twigs and other vegetation.

However, large scale deforestation has led to the destruction and loss of the habitats of Malayan tapirs.

This has put the herbivorous animals at risk, and resulted in their declining numbers over the years.


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