Wild tapir found roaming in Melaka hotel on New Year's Day after getting lost

The animal had been tracked unsuccessfully for two weeks before getting lost in the car park.

Tan Min-Wei | January 03, 2023, 04:30 PM

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A wild Malayan tapir was found in the parking lot of a Melaka hotel, causing a New Year's Day surprise for hotel management.

No reservation

The tapir was spotted on the fifth floor of the Hatten Hotel in Melaka on New Year's Day, roaming the parking structure alone.

According to the New Straits Times, the Melaka Tengah Fire and Rescue station sent a team of eight men after being called to the scene at 9.04am.

The team, upon reaching, then called the Malaysian Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) to assist them.

The Melaka Tengah Fire and Rescue operations chief Mohd Sofian Hassan estimated the Tapir's weight to be about 250 kg.

He also said that the animal was "slightly aggressive", requiring the parking structure to be sealed off while a 10-men team from the country's Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) tried to trap the Tapir.

According to Harian Metro, the Perhilitan team had to tranquilise the tapir thrice before they were able to subdue it.

But in the meanwhile, it had managed to ram several vehicles, causing some damage in the process.

Rare sighting

As quoted by Free Malaysia Today, Perhilitan state director Mohd Firdaus Mahmood said that the whole operation took four hours.

Firdaus was also quoted in the New Straits Times as saying that his team had been prepared to trap the tapir for some time.

The animal, which is very rarely seen in Melaka, had been reported several times over the past two weeks.

Before this encounter, the Perhilitan team had been unsuccessful in tracking it down.

The tapir is thought to have followed a vehicle into the parking structure, before getting lost on its top floor.

The tapir was slightly injured on its leg during its capture.

For the moment, it will be kept at the Melaka Zoo, but will eventually be sent to the National Wildlife Sanctuary Centre in Sungkai, Perak.

Top image via Korporat JBPM/Facebook