Critically endangered Malayan tiger that was pregnant killed crossing Malaysia's East Coast Expressway

Fences had been put up along the highway to prevent animals from being killed, a Malaysian highway official said. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A Malayan tiger was killed crossing the East Coast Expressway Phase 2 (LPT2) at about midnight on Friday (Feb 5).

The Malaysian Highway Authority (MHA) confirmed that a car bound for Kuala Terengganu hit the tiger near the 321km highway mark.

"It happened last night, roughly around midnight, at the section near Paka to Kerteh," MHA director-general Datuk Ismail Md Salleh told The Star on Saturday (Feb 6).

He said the place where the tiger died cut through a forest reserve there.

Malaysia is home to the Malayan tiger, a critically endangered species with only about 250 to 340 left in the wild.

He added that fences had been put up along the highway to prevent this sort of thing from happening.

Ismail said the MHA, which was currently in charge of the highway, was going to check and see if there were any damaged fences there.

The Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) confirmed on Saturday that the tiger was pregnant.

Perhilitan Terengganu director Mohd Hasdi Husin said that a post-mortem performed on the tiger found two dead fetuses.

"There were two fetuses about two months old, outside the uterus, which was broken because of the accident," he said.

"I am very, very sad. Next time, hopefully this kind of accident will not happen again," he added.

Mohd Hasdi said the tiger suffered massive internal injuries and that its liver was ruptured and its hind legs broken.

He also added that the tiger may have been 10 to 15 years old.

Posts on social media this morning showed a dead tiger lying by the side of a road.

Though the person who hit the tiger was not identified, a picture on social media suggests that they might have been driving an MPV at the time.

Ismail added that the area was also prone to cattle crossing the road, and he advised motorists not to drive very fast there.

He added that Perhilitan removed the tiger's body at about 3am.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.