This post was originally published on August 28, 2020 and updated on November 8, 2021.
The Malayan tiger is on the “Critically Endangered” species list, with only 250 to 350 left in the wild. The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) is working to help increase the population of wild Malayan tigers to at least 1,000. Malaysian red palm oil is also playing an important role in this vital conservation program.
In 2019, MPOC and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia undertook an unprecedented initiative to rescue, rehabilitate and reintroduce Malayan tigers into the wild. Tigers that pose a threat to humans and livestock, and/or themselves, will be kept as breeding pairs to produce offspring that could eventually be released back into the wild.
This is the first time in Malaysia’s conservation history that a captive breeding program for tigers has been attempted. Rescued adults receive extensive care from a team of veterinarians, wildlife managers and conservation staff. After an observational period and a series of medical examinations, fertile tigers will be paired for breeding purposes.
Tiger cubs born in captivity will stay with their mom for about two years before being relocated to undergo rewilding. This process is essential for these sub-adults so that they have the opportunity to develop survival skills prior to their release into the wild.
To prevent health complications from living off a captive diet, these rescued tigers are instead supplemented with premium red palm oil that contains a high concentration of pro-vitamin A carotenoids and vitamin E tocotrienols.
Sometimes, rescued tigers are diagnosed with serious underlying medical conditions. When a young male called Lobo was brought in, veterinarians diagnosed him as a late-stage cataract sufferer and needed to be operated on immediately to restore his vision. The cost for Lobo’s surgery was sponsored by MPOC.
MPOC, through its recently established Malaysian Palm Oil Green Conservation Foundation, is committed to enabling the Malayan Tiger to continue to propagate and flourish.
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