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Saturday February 23, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday April 17, 2013 MYT 12:02:27 PM
by r.s.n. murali
MALACCA: The Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) has denied 230 animals have gone missing from Malacca Zoo.
Perhilitan director-general Datuk Abd Rasid Samsudin said they were transferred to wildlife rescue centres.
He said they comprised animals surrendered by the public, rescued by the department or confiscated.
“These animals are live assets which belong to the Government. They were transferred to wildlife rescue centres under the jurisdiction of Perhilitan.
“Native species would undergo rehabilitation before being released into their natural habitats,'' he said in a statement.
On Thursday, Dr Razeem Mazlan Abdullah, who is the animal welfare and ethics sub- committee chairman of the zoo operators, breeders, pet and wildlife traders association (P4PHM), claimed the animals had “vanished” after Perhilitan handed over management of the zoo to a private consortium.
On Dr Razeem's claim that two giraffes had died, Abd Rasid said only one animal died due to a sudden drop in blood pressure and traumatic injury.
He said the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry had set up a special committee to probe the allegation.
“Dr Razeem and P4PHM could formally file a report with the Treasury and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission if there is any wrongdoing by zoo officials on the handling of Government assets.”
Meanwhile, Malacca Zoo and Night Safari director Azman Ghazali said the new management was aware that the animals were relocated.
P4PHM president Abdullah Ahmad Mahmood welcomed the move by the ministry to probe the allegation.
“We also hope that an audit is conducted on the animals that were transferred from the zoo to determine where the various species have been placed,” he said.
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