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Sunday, January 3, 2016

MELAKA ZOO

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By Sean Whyte
Following years of complaining we have at last found something good to say about a zoo in Malaysia.
We never pretend to know what goes on behind the scenes at most zoos, because we do not have access to those areas or the zoo’s record keeping.
The best we can do, good or bad, is to ‘call it as we see it’, which is exactly what we have done at Melaka Zoo over the years.
During the time when it was managed by Perhilitan, Melaka zoo was a sad and sorry looking dump. Under its present management things are looking up and on a check-visit last month by Malaysian Friends of the Animals a lot of improvements were seen.
One very notable element at Melaka Zoo and nowhere else in Malaysia or, for that matter Indonesia, is the provision of browse for the orangutans to play with and make beds from, much as they do in the wild.
It would be impossible to exaggerate the importance of fresh leaves and small branches to orangutans in captivity, both in their outdoor enclosure and especially in their night quarters. Would you want to sleep every night on a concrete floor or iron bars?
Finally, Malaysia has a zoo it doesn’t have to be ashamed of. It’s not perfect and there is still much to be done, but it is clearly much improved under private management.
We hope Melaka Zoo will keep on improving and maintaing a strong bias towards conserving Malaysia’s wildlife, education and conservation. There is no need to bring in animals from other countries at a time when people need to learn more about and respect Malaysia’s own wildlife.
Melaka Zoo now has the opportunity to stand out from the crowd in a big way and do things right by international zoo standards. We look forward to seeing further progress.
Sean Whyte is with Nature Alert.
With a firm belief in freedom of expression and without prejudice, FMT tries its best to share reliable content from third parties. Such articles are strictly the writer’s personal opinion. FMT does not necessarily endorse the views or opinions given by any third party content provider.

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