‘Awang Besul', the tiger which was caught on Friday by the Terengganu Wildlife and National Park Department after wandering in Kampung Besul Lama, Bukit Besi in Dungun, probably had canine distemper.
Wildlife director-general Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim said that this was based on preliminary observations by the department’s wild animal specialists and the Terengganu Veterinary Services Department which also took part in the operation to catch the animal.
He said canine distemper was a disease stemming from the virus which normally attacks domestic animals such as cats and dogs with cases involving wild animals such as tigers, wolves and foxes.
‘’Such attacks will result in the animals becoming confused and cannot differentiate its predatory nature. This could be the reason why it did not harm the humans and livestock it came across.
‘’Normal tigers will not reject people or livestock. If they don’t eat them, they will attack them as it is their nature,’’ he told reporters after delivering a talk titled "Going Through The Challenge Of Wildlidfe Management In The Future" at University Malaysia Terengganu yesterday.
However, he said, this could only be confirmed after the result of a blood test on the male tiger was obtained in two more weeks.
‘’According to the information from the staff at the National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Sungkai, Perak where the tiger was sent, Awang Besul is recovering and can eat and drink well,’’ he added.