(File pix) A tapir found dead at Jalan Jeli- Dabong, near Kampung Renyuk, Kuala Krai. Up to 2,130 wild animals – most of them members of endangered species – were killed in traffic accidents over the past five years. Pix courtesy of Perhilitan

SEREMBAN: Up to 2,130 wild animals – most of them members of endangered species – were killed in traffic accidents over the past five years, Deputy Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Dr Hamim Samuri revealed on Tuesday.

He said that for the first nine months of this year, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia (Perhilitan) recorded the deaths of 212 wild animals.

"Most of the wildlife killed (belong to) endangered species, such as tapirs, sun bears, elephants, mountain goats and tigers.

“I was told that tapirs are (the number one) victims in roadkill incidents. Perhilitan records show that 43 tapirs were killed in road accidents in the last five years.

"Most of the accidents occurred because the animals were trying to cross roads or highways to find shelter, food, mates and habitats," Dr Hamim said in his opening speech at the Biodiversity Seminar 2017 here.

He advised motorists to be careful and pay attention while driving near forests, and especially at wildlife crossings. -- Bernama

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