Sunday, 29 April 2018

The Malayan Tapir when mentioned, might refresh the public's memory of how they look like but how many people actually know the Malayan Tapir more than just their look? In fact, most of you might probably mistake a baby Tapir for a baby wildboar just like me.

It is sad to realize that similar to most of Malaysia's heritage, the public has little to no knowledge at all about the endangered Malayan Tapir, a precious little gem of the country. However, nothing is never too late when a step forward is taken. I was very thankful to be part of a recent trip aimed to raise awareness of the endangered Malayan Tapir made possible by NATURALS by Watsons. 

// We Love Tapir campaign successfully raised RM30,524 //

For the second consecutive year, NATURALS by Watsons has collaborated with Pocotee & Friends and Ecotourism & Conservation Society of Malaysia (ECOMY)  to run a campaign nationwide to raise funds channeled towards the aim of spreading awareness of the endangered Malayan Tapir. The campaign successfully raised RM30,524 which was presented to the association at "A Day with Nature and Tapirs" held at the River Dusun Wildlife Reserve in Selangor.

The funds was a compilation of all the RM1 raised from every NATURALS by Watsons products sold. In-line with the nature-inspired brand, the funds will be channeled towards a specially designed environmental education programme for school children located around the Taman Negara National Park, home of the Malayan Tapir to educate them about the Malayan Tapir and with hope that words of wildlife conservation and protection will spread with them. 

// Adult and baby Tapir //

// Tapir enjoying a good stroke //

During "A Day with Nature and Tapirs", I was excited as we get to watch the Malayan Tapirs from up-close and also understand more about the species. It was a heart warming sight as I watch a ranger giving the momma Tapir a fuzzy stroke and also the fact that we had the opportunity to witness a growing baby Tapir which still has light dappled white line and spots on the body.

// Adult and baby Tapir //

// Feeding Time for Tapir //

Although the female Tapirs generally give birth to one calf every 2 years, the main threat towards the extinction of the Malayan Tapir is actually human activity of deforestation and illegal hunting for trade. Deforestation being the main reason, causes Tapir to lose their habitat and source of food. It has even lead to Tapir braving themselves out of the wild and becoming road kill due to unfamiliarity of the human world.

The Malayan Tapir can be found only in Peninsular Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and the island of Sumatra. They are the largest among the other species and the only ones with a distinctive black and white colour. Their visual might resemble a pig but they are actually said to be related to the horse and rhinoceros. Albeit their gentle outlook, the Malayan Tapirs are solitary creatures and would get into a fight to mark out their territory. They are also able to run quickly when threatened and frightened despite their bulky build up.

This gentle creature have herbivorous appetite with their favourite being the jackfruit. Hence during this day, a number of jackfruit saplings have been planted to create more food for the Malayan Tapir at the centre.

// Planting Jackfruit Trees for Tapir //

// Jackfruit trees by Watsons Malaysia //

"It is important to know that the Tapir forms an important part of the ecosystem as seed dispersers and it is one of the oldest surviving wildlife in the animal kingdom."

"Special thanks goes out to all our Watsons shoppers who had purchased the NATURALS by Watsons product range during the campaign and helped raised funds representing a collective effort in saving the Tapirs."

- Caryn Loh, General Manage and Country Head of Watsons Malaysia.

// Doing my part to create more favourite food for the Malayan Tapir //

// Doing my part to create more favourite food for the Malayan Tapir //

It was indeed a memorable and meaningful day to get to know more about one of the oldest surviving wildlife in the animal kingdom which can be found in Malaysia and also to be involved in planting more Jackfruit trees. 

Thanks to NATURALS by Watsons,  Pocotee & Friends and Ecotourism & Conservation Society of Malaysia (ECOMY) for this Malayan Tapir awareness campaign and hopefully the campaign will be repeated every year after so that the public will get to know more about this gentle creature. 

// Doing my part to create more favourite food for the Malayan Tapir //

World Tapir Day with NATURALS by Watsons Malaysia

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