Malaysia – An Orang Asli man was attacked by a wild tiger but lived to tell the tale thanks to his wife. 60-year-old Tambun Gediu, from a settlement in Kg Sungai Tiang, 75km from the town of Gerik, was hunting squirrels in the Belum forest when he happened to come upon a tiger. As he crouched to take a blowgun shot, that’s when he realized the tiger had been stalking him.
Tambun said he tried to escape by climbing a tree, but the tiger caught up with him and dragged him to the ground. He used all his stregth to punch the animal in the face but it wouldn’t budge. “I had to wrestle with it to keep its jaws away from me, and it would have clawed me to death if my wife had not arrived.”
His wife, 55-year-old Han Besau, came to his aid after she heard the tiger roaring and was able to fight off the beast by conking it on the head with a large wooden ladle. Tambun suffered lacerations to his head, face, neck and both knees; he had to wait more than 10 hours to be admitted to Gerik Hospital because rescuers had difficulty reaching his settlement, located deep in the Belum Temenggor Forest complex. Gerik Hospital has no operating room, so Tambun was transfered to Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital when doctors determined he would need an operation to clean his wounds.
Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) Perak director Shabrina Mohd Shariff said she would help Tambun get financial aid from the Wild Animal Attack Relief Fund. Shariff also said that Perhilitan officers, along with those from the State Department of Orang Asli Affairs, would visit the attack site and try to track the tiger, believed to be a male weighing around 175 to 200 pounds. “The tiger was probably hunting for prey and mistook Tambun for a mammal,” she said, “this is not unusual as Tambun was in the tiger’s natural habitat.” Shariff also estimated that there were about 200 tigers in the jungles of Perak and said five had been spotted near the East-West Highway, near Jeli, Gerik and Lenggong.Tags: attack, ladle, Survivor, tiger, wife