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Discover 5 Animals Uniquely Found in Malaysia

Wong Shu Lee  


  October 04, 2022

World Animal Day, celebrated annually on October 4, is a social movement charged with the mission of raising the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe. Building the celebration of World Animal Day unites the animal welfare movement, mobilizing it into a global force to make the world a better place for all animals. 


In conjunction with World Animal Day, let’s discover some vibrant wildlife animals uniquely found in Malaysia! 


1. Malayan Tiger


Malayan Tiger


The national animal of Malaysia, the Malaysian Tiger is also recognized as a symbol of bravery in the country. Without a doubt,  the Malayan Tiger is the pride of Malaysia. Locally known as ‘harimau belang’, which translates to ‘striped tiger’, this Tiger is found in the central and peninsular regions of Malaysia. Unfortunately, due to rampant deforestation and decimation of its natural environment, the species of wildlife in Malaysia is now on the verge of extinction, with only around three hundred tigers left across the globe. 


2. Malayan Tapir


Malayan Tapir


Of the four tapir species that presently exist in the world, the Malayan Tapir is the largest of all and is mostly found in the tropical jungles of lowland peninsular Malaysia. This fascinating species among the wildlife of Malaysia is locally known as ‘tenuk’ or ‘cipan’. They can be described as pig-like, with a short snout; and they have a light patch that extends from the rear end of their shoulder, while the rest of the body is entirely black. Since predators often mistake them for large rocks, the unique colour of the tapir helps in camouflaging. Tapirs are also excellent runners and swimmers, and can even stay underwater for up to a minute; making their strength quite unmatchable! 


3. Hornbill




There are quite a few native species of hornbills in Malaysia which are mostly from the tropical forests of the eastern and peninsular parts of the country. These include the Rhinoceros Hornbill, the Great Hornbill, the Oriental pied hornbill, the black hornbill, and the Malabar pied hornbill. Of the different species of hornbills, the Rhinoceros Hornbill is the most recognizable one, and also holds deep significance for the people of Sarawak, since the various indigenous tribes of the country pay great respect to the bird. This species of wildlife in Malaysia is also regarded to be the state bird of Sarawak, and even the nickname of the state ‘Bumi Kenyalang’ translates to the ‘Land of the Hornbills’. 


4. Mouse Deer


Mouse Deer


Mouse Deer, also known as Chevrotains, and locally addressed as Sang Kancil, is the smallest hoofed mammal in the entire world, and feeds only on plant material, fruits and leaves. A mature mouse deer will grow to only 45 centimetres in length, and weighs around 2 kilograms only! These nocturnal creatures are indeed adorable animals and are found in eastern and peninsular Malaysia, as well as on the smaller islands of the country. It would also be interesting to know that this animal among wildlife in Malaysia is the main protagonist of many traditional Malay folktales. 


5. Bornean Orangutan 




The Bornean orangutan is native to the tropical rainforests of Borneo. This species among other wildlife in Malaysia is found in large numbers in the thick and rocky interiors of the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak. In fact, the Bornean orangutan is scientifically considered to be a brilliant animal, and the history of the evolution of this animal is very close to that of humankind. The indigenous people of Borneo believed that this orangutan is another tribe of the people, and thus they referred to it as ‘orang utan’, which means people of the jungle. 


If you want to explore and witness the spectacular wildlife in Malaysia, let’s consider visiting Malaysia’s rainforests, nature reserves, and national parks, for it will allow you to enjoy the sights of a myriad of this wildlife, all in one place. 


(Source: Wikipedia)


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