LABUAN: The bird park here received a new breath of life, thanks to the contribution made to its coffers through Labuan Corporation by the Federal Territories Ministry.
The contribution, amounting to RM1mil, would go towards the maintenance and the infrastructure upgrade of the 6.1ha bird park.
Minister Khalid Abdul Samad said the bird park, which had been operating for the past 21 years, must be rebranded to serve as a tourism spot for Labuan.
“The fund allocated to the park’s management shows the ministry’s commitment towards the park’s rebranding, which would contribute towards the improvements in the landscape and the facilities inside the park.
“This park must play a role not only for bird exhibition, but also serve as a conservancy and research centre for endangered and exotic bird species.”
The park houses 600 birds, comprising 39 Bornean and 28 exotic species.
“Under the ministry’s contribution, the park would also receive, in stages, 230 new birds of Bornean and exotic species to breed, ” said Khalid.
He was speaking during the launch of the annual Labuan Bird Park festival which was held from Sept 7-8.
At the event, Khalid released six “Ring-Neck Parakeet” and two “Galah cockatoo” birds.
Veterinary Services Department (Development) deputy director Datuk Dr Norlizan Mohd Noor who was also present during the launch, expressed appreciation for the ministry’s support.
“The Labuan bird park was unique, in that it was the only bird park in the country that was managed by a government agency, namely the Labuan Veterinary Services Department.
“However, the management of the park was constrained due to a lack of manpower, ” he said, adding that there were only nine staff working at the park.
“Through collaboration and support from the ministry and Labuan Corporation, we hope to promote this bird park as an agritourism product for Labuan, ” he said.
Also present was Labuan MP Datuk Rozman Isli.
This year, the festival also held a charity run which comprised three categories – 70km, 50km and 30km which began at 2am.
There were also other activities held such as colouring contest for both adults and children, treasure hunts, cat competition, fruit carving competition and lucky draw among others.
Entrance to the two-day festival was free.