JOHOR BARU: The Covid-19 pandemic has hit all segments of society, including businesses and tourist attractions.
In Johor, the situation was no different, with popular tourism sites closing their doors when the movement control order (MCO) was first imposed on March 18 to prevent infections.
Zoo Johor, reputed to be one of the oldest in the country, which remained closed for over three months has reopened its doors to the public now during the recovery phase of the MCO.
Located along Jalan Gertak Merah here, it reopened on July 5 and has been receiving a steady stream of visitors, both young and old.
The zoo covering 12.5ha is open daily between 9am and 5pm, while the ticketing counters close at 4pm, ” the zoo management said in a statement.
It said while welcoming visitors, it would ensure all adhered to the standard operating procedures put in place under the new normal and hope for cooperation from all.
It said the regulations in place was for their own good and would minimise health risks in view of the outbreak.
“While in the zoo premises, visitors will be made to practice social distancing and wear face masks, ” it said.
To make the screening process at the entrance to the zoo faster and smoother, visitors are encouraged to instal the MySejahtera app on their mobile phone and scan the QR code displayed.
Zoo Johor’s origins date back to 1928. It was originally a private menagerie for the Johor royal family but was opened to the public in 1962. It is a popular attraction among local and foreign visitors to the state.
The zoo houses indigenous and non-native wildlife with over 200 animals of various species, including lions, deers, crocodiles, elephants and birds. Among the highlights are the hippopotamus in their enclosure.
Entrance fees to the zoo are affordably priced, even during weekends and public holidays.
Tickets cost RM2 for adults while it is RM1 for children aged 12 and below.
Sealife Aquarium Malaysia here is another attraction that reopened on July 1, during the recovery phase.
It closed when the MCO was initially imposed.
Its general manager Kristian Griffin said during the more than three months closure, Sealife Aquariums across Asia extended support to each other and carried out breeding programmes to increase marine life in their care.
“Our intensive breeding programme is a combined project involving all Sealife aquariums.
“As for food for the marine life, we did not face any shortage during the closure, ” said Griffin, adding that supplements and medication were also sufficient.
“Our employees were kept busy during the MCO tending to them.
“We have six employees per shift, with three shifts a day.
“We ensure there is enough manpower to care for the 120 different species of marine life we have here, ” he said, adding that this included whale sharks and decorative fish.
Griffin said Sealife was adhering to the SOP in place to keep visitors safe.
These included limiting the number of visitors, distancing parking lots as well as temperature checks and enforcing social distancing.
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