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The Malayan Tiger

The Malayan Tiger, Panthera tigris jacksoni, was only recognised as a separate subspecies in 2004, based on DNA analysis.  Before that they were considered to be of the Indochinese subspecies.

Although it was given the subspecies name jacksoni in recognition of the work Peter Jackson, the Malaysian Government did not accept it.  Tigers are an important symbol in Malaysia, as they are in most areas they are native to. The Malaysian Government prefers the name Panthera tigris malayensis.

Critically Endangered

There may be about 500 of these Tigers left in the wild, and they are listed as Critically Endangered.  In the past, hunting for sport (mainly by Europeans) reduced their numbers, but now the biggest threat is habitat loss as the Human population increases, and more of the forests are cleared.

An additional threat that has appeared recently is the clearing of jungle for the production of palm oil for making bio fuels.

Another threat is poaching.  All parts of Tigers are used in traditional Chinese medicine.  Poaching Tigers can be very profitable.  The Malaysian government attempts to stop the poaching, but cannot always be successful.

Man Eating

Most Tigers do not regard Humans as their natural prey.  The South China Tiger and one particular population of Bengal Tigers are apparent exceptions.

The subspecies which has the best reputation in the sense of not eating us is the Malayan Tiger.

A Tiger’s roar can be heard for about two miles, but when stalking they are a very silent animal. 

The Australian Army trains some of its elite forces in the Malayan Jungle.

One of the things the commandos have to do is to survive alone in the jungle.  One unfortunate trainee was stalked by a Tiger for two days.  The Tiger did not attack him; otherwise he would not have been able to tell the tale afterwards.

The man had a rifle, but no ammunition.  He was not completely defenceless, but it must have been a frightening experience.

Of course the Tiger was right in not attacking the man.  Although he had no ammunition, a rifle with its bayonet fixed is a dangerous weapon.


This type of Tiger eats things like wild boar, Barking Deer and Sambar Deer.


The Malayan Tiger is one of the smallest subspecies still surviving.  It is very similar in size to the Sumatran Tiger.  A mature male may weigh about 120 kg while the females are more like 100 kg.

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