Panther spotted prowling near homes in Dungun

KUALA TERENGGANU, Sept 17 — If two months ago two tigers spotted roaming around Kampung Besul Lama near Dungun sparked headlines, now a panther (harimau kumbang) has been spotted in an area nearby.

In the past two weeks, the panther has been seen prowling around Taman Harmoni near Al-Muktafi Billah Shah, about 15km from Kampung Besul Lama.

A Taman Harmoni resident, Nur Mazila Mohd Salleh, 37, said she saw the animal with her own eyes last night near Block H.

“It’s the third time I’ve seen it in two weeks, but a neighbour said the panther was seen slinking around last month.

“We’re living in fear and the children are now not allowed to play outside like before. We hope the panther will be caught soon so our lives can return to normal,” she told Bernama today when contacted.

Nur Mazila posted a picture of the panther on Facebook while asking for the contact number of the Terengganu Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan). The post exists no more.

Perhilitan Terengganu director, Abdul Malik Mohd Yusuf, said the residents’ reports have been received and a few staffers have been sent to set up traps.

He asked the residents to take care and report sightings to Perhilitan immediately.

On July 19, around 3.30pm, one of the two tigers that were spotted in Kampung Besul Lama was caught using a tranquiliser gun while it was resting in the bushes about 500m from the village main road.

However, the tiger believed to be five years old and weighing 130kg, died on July 23 while under quarantine at the National Wildlife Rescue Centre (NWRC) in Sungkai, Perak. — Bernama

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