KUANTAN: A three-year-old boy who was bitten by a monitor lizard on Pulau Tioman yesterday had to be given 30 stitches for his wounds.
Faliq Iman Mohd Fadhirul Izwan, however, contracted an infection from the bite and has been given antibiotics.
His father, Mohd Fadhirul Izwan Mat Saridan, 34, said the doctor will be monitoring Faliq over the next few days and would discharge him once they were satisfied with his condition.
He said his son was still traumatised from the incident.
"He avoids talking about what happened to him. He keeps saying 'Aliq tak suka biawak.. biawak jahat' (Aliq doesn't like lizards... lizards are bad)," he said.
Fadhirul hopes the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) will take action to avoidsuch future incidents.
Faliq was bitten on his foot by a 1.5m monitor lizard at a resort on the island where his father works
It let go of its grip after the boy's father stepped on the reptile twice.
This iwas the second time such an incident occurred at the resort.
In 2014, an eight-month-old baby was injured after she was mauled by a monitor lizard.
Meanwhile, Perhilitan director Rozidan Md Yassin said he believed the monitor lizard did not view the child as a food source, but instead may have seen him as a potential threat or obstacle.
"I was told that the lizard had previously entered the resort looking for cats... maybe the reptile felt that the victim was blocking its path and in turn, bit him.
"We will carry out regular operations to control the population of reptiles on the island to avoid this from happening again," he said.
The last complaint received with regards to monitor lizards on the island was June 25 this year. An operation was carried out the same day.
Rozidan advised residents not to provoke or disturb any wild animal in the area and instead, contact the department immediately if any human-wildlife conflict occurred.