The illegal wildlife trade in Malaysia is rising at worrying levels despite stricter enforcement and heavier penalties. Greedy traffickers, who gain huge profits from the cruel and unethical trade, are targeting the country as it is among the few that still have tigers, elephants, sun bears, pangolins and other sought-after species in the wild.
Animals highly sought after by poachers in Malaysia include the wild boar, sambar deer, mouse deer, porcupine and several rare species of birds.
According to the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan), traffickers are motivated by the high profit margins in the wildlife trade.
A live tiger is worth about US$50,000 (S$62,000) in the black market. Its skin alone can be worth up to US$35,000 (S$43,786.40).
The prized parts of the big cat are sold separately, with its penis worth about US$4,000 (S$5,004.16).
Elephant tusks are priced at US$1,800 (S$2,251.87) per kilogram while rhinoceros horns are at about US$97,000 (S$121,350.88) per kilogram.
"Animal parts are used in traditional medicine, folk remedies and as aphrodisiacs," said a department spokesman.
He said tigers are mostly hunted for their bones, skin and body parts, bears for their gall bladders and paws, pangolins for their meat and scales, while snakes such as pythons are traded for their skins. More....