Malaysia tiger mauling stopped by wife with soup ladle

Sumatran Tiger taking a dips in pool at National Zoo, Kuala Lumpur, 7 Dec 2005 Tigers do not usually attack humans - nor do they often have to fend off soup ladles

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A man has been rescued from a near-fatal attack by a tiger in northern Malaysia by his wife.

She entered the fray wielding a wooden soup ladle at the tiger - which fled.

Tambun Gediu, now badly lacerated and recovering in hospital, had tried hitting the tiger away in vain and says his wife saved his life.

Wildlife rangers plan to track the tiger and send it further into dense, unpopulated jungle in the the northern state of Perak.

"I was trailing a squirrel and crouched to shoot it with my blowpipe when I saw the tiger.

"That's when I realised that I was being trailed," Mr Gediu said after surgery.

The tiger pounced not far from the Gediu home in a jungle settlement of the Jahai tribe.

Mr Gediu had tried climbing a tree to escape the animal, but was dragged down by the tiger.

His wife, 55-year old Han Besau, rushed out of the kitchen on hearing his screams and used the kitchen implement to good effect.

"I was terrified and I used all my strength to punch the animal in the face, but it would not budge," the New Straits Times newspaper quoted him as saying.

"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."

It was the first time anyone in the village had been attacked by a tiger.

The director of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks in the state, Shabrina Mohd Shariff, estimated that there were about 200 tigers in the jungles of Perak.

She added that five had been spotted near the major East-West Highway in the region.

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