The Bengal tiger cub found in Mosta last month had been bred in captivity and all its paperwork was in order, according to investigations carried out by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority.

Officials from Mepa's Ecosystems Management Unit concluded the specimen found was not a Tabby tiger, a very rare colour morph of the Bengal tiger, but a normal Bengal tiger that originated from the Slovak Republic.

It was also established that the cub specimen was captive-bred and did not originate from the endangered Bengal tigers found in the wild, and protected as an endangered species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites).

In the last month the Malta Cites Management Authority within Mepa was in contact with its counterparts to verify various issues.

Mepa said it was confident the transactions involving this tiger were all regular and the cub had the necessary documentation and satisfied all the criteria set by the relevant EC Regulations and Cites. It was further proved by the Slovak authorities that the cub's parents were also captive-bred and their introduction into the European Community was regular.

Mepa said anyone seeking to import or export any fauna or flora specimen, even if it was not listed in the annexes to the relevant EC Regulations, should notify the local Cites Management Authority (e-mail:, to ensure the specimen to be traded was in line with Maltese and Community law.

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