A photo of a tiger purportedly in Taman Rimba, Cherok Tokun, has caused a stir among residents in Seberang Perai after it went viral on social media.
This prompted the Penang government to instruct two departments to probe the authenticity of the photograph which showed the tiger roaming the locality in Permatang Pauh.
They two agencies are the Forestry Department and the Department of Wildlife and Natural Parks (Perhilitan).
State executive councillor Phee Boon Poh (above) said the instruction was issued as the photo had gone viral.
"This has caused fear and speculation. We also take into consideration that the Hutan Rimba Tokun forest reserve is very popular for walking and trekking," said Phee in a statement.
"There has been an intensive tracking of a known, documented tiger visiting the habitat in Bukit Panchor until Taman Rimba Tokun by our forest and Perhilitan rangers," he said.
"On record, we have visitations of the tiger in Bukit Panchor but not Taman Rimba Tokun," he added.
This is not the first time the appearance of a tiger has caused a scare among rural residents prompting the authorities to act.
In July, a male tiger nicknamed "Awang Besul" was caught by Perhilitan rangers after it wandered into Kampung Besul Lama, Bukit Besi, Terengganu. It succumbed shortly after to canine distemper virus.
Phee said in the latest incident, the viral picture looked like it was photoshopped but said he did not want to take things for granted.
"On this note, I am personally appealing to the photographer who took the picture to come forward and discuss this issue," Phee said.
"As for any person with information or who sighted a tiger around the location, we seek your cooperation and all information is most welcomed and appreciated," he added.
Phee cautioned trekkers to be extra careful and to not intrude too far into the thick jungle until the completion of the search for tigers.