Perhilitan ranger in high spirits after jungle ordeal

NAZIRUL ROSELAN

KUALA LIPIS: Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) ranger Tarmizi Ahmad Japli, who went missing in the jungle and survived alone for two weeks is in the pink of health. Tarmizi, 30, who is currently under observation at the Kuala Lipis Hospital is reported to be stable and did not suffer from any insect bites or cuts during his stay in the jungle. The father of four was found at about 4pm on Saturday near a stream, some four kilometres from the base camp at Yong Forest Reserve in Taman Negara. He is expected to be allowed home on Wednesday.


Tarmizi Ahmad Japli (fifth, left), who went missing in the jungle and survived alone for two weeks is in the pink of health. (Pic by NAZIRUL ROSELAN)

However, Tarmizi and his family members declined to be interviewed when met by members of the media at the hospital.
"Sorry, I do not want (to be interviewed)... maybe next time," he said. Attached to the Kota Bharu Perhilitan office in Kelantan, Tarmizi was involved in the first national tiger count study when he got separated from his friend on Aug 11 as they were following a river route. Seven individuals including Tarmizi were involved in the programme. The incident happened when five of them were returning to the camping spot when three of them followed a trail while two others walked along the river bank to retrieve a camera (used for the tiger count). Tarmizi and his colleague who were following the river route got separated before his friend noticed that he was missing and the rest of the team lodged a report with the authorities before search and rescue (SAR) operations were mounted to track his whereabouts. He appeared weak when found by a team of search and rescue personnel. Meanwhile, the Gunung Tahan Merapoh chief guide Sabri Zoo, 37, who accompanied Ahmad Tarmizi from the spot he was found to the base camp said the Perhilitan ranger appeared confused and did not realise that he had been missing for 14 days. He said Tarmizi thought that he was missing for only two days and appeared shocked that his family members were present, as he was under the assumption he was gone for only a short while. "The victim claimed several of his colleagues told him to follow them to a certain place and he immediately trailed them without realising that he had walked far and was lost. "The victim said he survived by eating river prawns, jungle fruits and drank water from the stream. When found on Saturday, he was surrounded with jungle fruits," he said. Meanwhile State Healh director Datuk Dr Sha'ari Ngadiman said Tarmizi is recovering since he was found in a weak state. "The hospital has collected his blood sample for further tests and he appears cheerful. He is still under observation and might be allowed home on Wednesday," he said when contacted today.


Tarmizi was involved in the first national tiger count study when he got separated from his friend on Aug 11 as they were following a river route. (Pic by NAZIRUL ROSELAN)

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