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Zoo Negara Back On Its Feet Thanks To Donations From The Public

Zoo Negara Back On Its Feet Thanks To Donations From The Public

Tasneem Nazari

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Zoo Negara has managed to get back onto its feet thanks to the generous support from the public who donated sufficient amounts of food and cash last month.

According to Zoo Negara’s Zoology, Veterinary, and Giant Panda Conservation Centre Director Dr Mat Naim Ramli, the donations received from the public also came in the form of meat, fish, and poultry, and this would enable the zoo to save money in the coming months.

Usually, the zoo has to fork out around RM350,000 in total, but due to the generous donations received this month, it only cost us RM50,000 this month.

Dr Mat Naim Ramli via NST

He explained that RM300,000 in donations is worth two and a half tonnes of meat and vegetables. On top of that, the zoo also received a donation of fish which they need to feed the birds.

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However, most of the cash donations actually came through the zoo’s adoption programme. 

For those who aren’t familiar with Zoo Negara’s adoption programme, all of the animals at the zoo are up for adoption, and a foster parent can do so by maintaining the animals’ annual food, enrichment, and veterinary care.

In return, the foster parent will receive a certificate of adoption stating the selected animal.

(Credit: Zoo Negara)

Dr Mat said that to date, the zoo has collected a total of about RM2 million in cash from the adoption programme and that the number of adoptions increased significantly after the implementation of the movement control order (MCO).

One person might just donate around RM10 to RM50, but the volume is high, with around 20,000 to 30,000 individuals coming forward.

Dr Mat Naim Ramli via NST

He added that they have received thousands of emails from the public who were interested in taking part in the programme, and he hopes they can continue the adoption programme even after the end of April.

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Meanwhile, on the topic of the government’s donation of RM1.3 million for the animals’ food supply during the MCO, Dr Mat said that the donation will help Zoo Negara sustain itself until the end of the year. Though, things will likely return to normal by July or August, as the zoo will need visitors to continue operating.

Speaking of testing the zoo animals for Covid-19, Dr Mat explained that there were no screening tests for the animals at the moment, but if there were any reliable kits available, they could use it. 

For the time being, the zoo has been following the Health Ministry’s guidelines and implemented temperature screening of the zookeepers before allowing them to handle the animals.


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