Perhilitan urges zoos to attain world-class status

BAGAN SERAI: The Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) is urging zoos in the country to change the concept or exhibit designs in efforts to attain world-class status.

Perhilitan director-general Datuk Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim said that the time has come for the country’s zoos not to be solely tourist destinations and profit-oriented.

He cited a number of well-known world-class zoos such as in Thailand (Zoo Khao Kheow) and in Singapore which were a hit among visitors.

“We hope the concept of the zoo is changed because besides improving the economy it will provide job opportunities to the people.

“The zoo also functions as a centre of conservation, research, education and wildlife handling,” he told reporters after signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Perhilitan and Bukit Merah Resort Sdn Bhd in Ecopark Bukit Merah Laketown, here, yesterday.

The MoU was signed by Abdul Kadir representing Perhilitan while Bukit Merah Resort Sdn Bhd was represented by its director Chin Kok Siong.

The MoU is to promote and develop cooperation in wildlife placement programmes and increase opportunities for cooperation by training staff in the fields of breeding, care and conservation of wildlife.

The Ecopark started operating in 1999 in an area of 1.6 hectares and has 30 species of animals.

Abdul Kadir said there were 32 zoos operating in the country with nine of them having signed up for wildlife conservation programmes. — Bernama

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