Families flock to Penang Bird Park to watch colourful species

Pelicans performing during a bird show at the Penang Bird Park in Jalan Todak, Seberang Jaya. — Photos: MUSTAFA AHMAD/The Star

WATCH colourful birds fly among trees and feed them from up close at the Penang Bird Park in Jalan Todak, Seberang Jaya, Penang.

It is home to various species of birds such as owls, macaws, parrots, eagles, flamingos, storks, emus and ducks.

The garden-concept park also houses other animals such as the estuarine (saltwater) crocodiles, giant Arapaima fish, reticulated pythons and tortoises to blend in the natural habitat environment.

Exotic birds in the park range from tiny sunbirds to huge eight-foot tall ostriches.

A Singaporean tourist who wished to be identified only as Yeoh brought her two sons to the park and declared they had a good time learning about the birds, especially at the cockatoo exhibit.

“We are staying in George Town on the island and decided to visit Butterworth. The bird park was listed among the attractions on the map.

“It is nice and we are surprised that the area is big with many birds to see in every enclosure,” Yeoh said at the park recently.

The Victoria Crowned Pigeon species at the Penang Bird Park.
The Victoria Crowned Pigeon species at the Penang Bird Park.

Quantity surveyor Rosli Che Man, 53, was also at the bird park with his family and friends.

“I’m here with my two children and my friend’s daughter from Putrajaya.

“It has been a long time since I last visited the park and my visit today brings back a lot of childhood memories.

“We now live in a concrete jungle and we don’t get to see colourful and rare birds around.

“I’m glad to have brought my children here to learn about the birds and appreciate them,” he said.

Penang Bird Park director Dr Gino Ooi said the two-hectare (five-acre) bird park was established in 1988.

It now houses over 3,000 birds of over 300 species in more than 160 enclosures.

“Visitors can get up close to some of the birds by getting inside four giant walkthrough cages.

“There, they can hold up food to feed the birds and take photos with them.

“Annually, we receive about 60,000 visitors and the highest we’ve recorded was 9,000 visitors in a single day in 1991.

“A lot of student groups visit the park and arrange for guides to bring them around to make the trip educational,” he said.

He added that the bird park had gone through various expensive upgrading works including replacement of several caged enclosures with glass.

The park is located about seven kilometres from the Penang Bridge toll plaza or the Sultan Abdul Halim ferry terminal.

Admission fee for MyKad holders is RM23 for adults and RM13 for children below 12 while foreigners pay RM38 for adults and RM20 for children.

There is a special ticket price for Malaysian schoolchildren in school uniform at RM10 while the physically or mentally handicapped or underprivileged persons are allowed free entrance.

An additional RM1 is charged to bring in a camera and RM5 for a video camera.

The park is open daily from 9am to 7pm and bird shows are held at 11.30am and 3.30pm daily.

There is an air-conditioned restaurant in the park serving local and western food.

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