What chance a Malayan Tiger swimming to Singapore?

I have always been interested in the number of Malayan tigers in Malaysia. They are particularly prominent in the north and eastern parts of the country, but there are also regular reports of tiger trails in the Johor region in the south. This leads me to wonder: what is stopping a tiger swimming across the Johor Strait and arriving at the ironically named Lion City?

Johor Causeway in traffic

Back in the 19th century, tigers were indeed native to Singapore. Additionally, some actually swam over from Malaysia, because it is such a short distance between the two countries (although I wouldn’t want to swim it myself, because of the threat of crocs). However, in the 1930s, the final Singaporean tiger was shot dead and since then tigers have not been seen in the wild on the island. In Malaysia, however, things are very, very different…

Tiger trails (such as scent, claw marks on trees, footprints, and droppings) are regularly reported from agricultural areas outside forests in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, and Johor. Most of the major rivers that drain into the South China Sea also have some evidence of tigers (interestingly, those draining into the Straits of Malacca in the west do not).

I can recall a video on YouTube of a group of young Malay men who were driving on the East-West Highway close to the border with Thailand, and they were awestruck that a fully grown tiger run across the road in front of their car. The wild Malayan tiger may very well be scared of the noise and the vehicle headlights of moving traffic, but it purposefully keeps itself hidden in the tropical shrubbery, just waiting for an idiot to get out of the car…

Woodlands Waterside: a place to see a tiger?

As a frequent visitor to Singapore (not so much Malaysia, these days), it makes me wonder about the possibility of a random, rogue tiger that somehow avoids detection and makes its way across the Johor Strait the north of Singapore at Woodlands. I guess it could happen, and one day it may actually occur, but let’s hope it will be caught by the authorities before any damage was done…


7 thoughts on “What chance a Malayan Tiger swimming to Singapore?

  1. Haha

    Chances are very low since they would rarely be out of their habitat.

    A few years back, I went hiking at Gunung Angsi in Negeri Sembilan and I saw their footprint! I was so scared. Haha.

    And only last year, a tiger was sighted near the East Coast Expressway on the way to Trengganu. It was on the news.

    When are you coming back here? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am visiting Langkawi later in the year, I try to visit Langkawi every year if I can. I want to experience the East Coast soon too – maybe then I see some tiger prints! 😛


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