Enough of wildlife roadkill

Written by: mottaman | 19 Jun 2017 17:47
A tiger which was also killed while crossing the East Coast Expressway - Picture from The Star
Written by:
19 Jun 2017 17:47

The death of a two-year-old baby elephant recently along the Gerak-Jeli highway once again brings to light the perils these magnificent animals face in the face of continuous development.

Within the last six years, it has been reported that close to 2,000 wild animals, such as civets, wild boars, marbled cats and tapirs have been killed in road accidents.

These protected species were killed on federal, state and municipal roads involving 61 road and highway networks in the  country.

Each time it occurs, we find the authorities echoing what has been said over and over again, but to no avail.

Despite the speed limits imposed, vehicles have been seen speeding along highways where signboards warning them of wildlife crossings have also been erected.

The reason such signboards are put up in the first place is to alert these motorists and for them to be extra cautious.

Knocking into and killing a baby elephant could only have been done if the vehicle was speeding and the driver did not have time to react.

Overall, there are a total 236 wildlife crossing road signs at 133 hotspots in peninsular Malaysia, which unfortunately seem to serve no purpose.

The only solution would be for the authorities concerned to build more viaducts for wildlife crossing similar to the ones in Sungai Deka, Terengganu and Sungai Yu in Pahang.

Though there may be additional costs involved, it is timely, in view of our depleting wildlife that the authorities make this mandatory in view of future development.

Allocations must be made for the safety and conservation of our precious wildlife by having elevated roads, more animal viaducts or tunnels to maintain uninterrupted jungle networks or links.

Malaysia has been blessed with a diverse range of wildlife, but unfortunately not everyone seems to appreciate this and unless something is urgently done, these magnificent creatures may soon vanish.

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