The Story of Panyalahan Village (The Faithful Tiger)

LONG time ago in Tasikmalaya, West Java, lived a young couple. They were farmers. They lived happily with their baby. The couple also had some animals. One of them was a tiger. When the couple went to work in the paddy field, the tiger looked after their baby.

As usual, the couple went to the paddy field. Before they left, they asked the tiger to look after their baby.

“We will go to the field now. Look after our baby, okay?”

The tiger nodded.

So, the couple went to the field. They worked from morning until afternoon. When the couple arrived home, the tiger welcomed them. The tiger acted differently. He wagged his tail and rubbed his body to the couple’s legs. He looked very happy. The husband became suspicious.

“Why does this tiger behave strangely? He does not act as usual,” he thought.

The husband looked at the tiger carefully. He was shocked. The tiger’s mouth was full of blood. Then he remembered his baby. He thought the tiger had eaten the baby.

“Why is your mouth full of blood?” he asked the tiger.

“You must have done something bad for my baby! Have you killed him? Why did you do that?” he was very panicked.

The husband took his knife and killed the tiger in anger. Then they both entered the house. They were shocked. They looked at each other. Their baby was sleeping peacefully in his cradle. He was not eaten by the tiger.

Quickly, the wife took the baby and kissed him. The baby woke up. He opened his eyes and smiled. The couple found a very large snake under the cradle. The snake was dead and full of blood.

“Oh, my wife,” the husband said.

“We have done a terrible thing. The tiger is not guilty! Look at the dead snake. The tiger must have killed him. He had saved our baby, but I killed him. Oh, my God! What have I done? I am so sorry. Forgive me, my dear tiger. Forgive me, please?”

The couple felt very guilty. They have killed their faithful tiger. It all happened because they did not check the baby first before they killed the tiger.

Since then, the couple’s village was called Panyalahan. The word Panyalahan derives from the word “nyalahan”, which means “wrong guess”. ***

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Did you know? 

Bali Tiger (Panthera tigris balica), harimau Bali in Indonesian, or referred to as samong in archaic Balinese language, was a subspecies of tiger which was founded solely on the small Indonesian island of Bali. This was one of three subspecies of tiger found in Indonesia, together with the Javan tiger, which is also extinct, and the critically endangered Sumatran tiger. It was the smallest of the tiger subspecies. (
Javan Tiger  (Panthera tigris sondaica) is an extinct tiger subspecies that inhabited the Indonesian island of Java until the mid-1970s. It was one of the three subspecies limited to the islands. (
Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) is a rare tiger subspecies that inhabits the Indonesian island of Sumatra. It was classified as critically endangered by IUCN in 2008 as the population is projected to be 441 to 679 individuals, with no subpopulation having an effective population size larger than 50 individuals, with a declining trend. (

Find out more!
Save Sumatran Tigers from Extinction.
Indonesia's Sumatran tiger could be the first large predator to become extinct this century, unless poaching for body parts and illegal logging in the area are stopped. Today, the total population of Sumatran tigers left in the wild is estimated to be of only 400 to 500. (

Tiger SOS: three steps to saving the Sumatran tiger
Tigers are now close to extinction. If we want this magnificent beast to still roam the jungles in 2050, we have to act fast. And it is important that we do, because saving the tiger is much more than just saving a species.  

The Zoological Society of London's unique approach to saving the Sumatran tiger, the subject of our Tiger SOS campaign, can be outlined in three steps.

First, stop the killing. 
Second, save the habitat. 
And third, make it sustainable.
Our “Wildlife Crime Units” in Indonesia are on the front line, tackling the poaching on the ground. 

 Our “Tiger Corridors Team” are working with government and industry to plan development, enabling Indonesia’s people to progress to modern lifestyles without destroying their forests; and our “Tiger Friendly Carbon Trading” project will make the whole thing sustainable. 

Our tigers will connect with every visiting child – they may not grow up to be conservationists, but instead be politicians, movie stars or even (perish the thought) bankers; but they will grow up remembering the day that they looked a tiger in the eye, and just maybe that will change their adult lives. (

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