SIME Darby Oils (SDO) has adopted a Malayan tiger and two Sumatran orang utan through Zoo Negara’s wildlife sponsorship programme.
The downstream division of Sime Darby Plantation Bhd (SDP) presented a cash contribution of RM65,000 to the zoo for the annual food, enrichment, veterinary care and upkeep of the adopted animals for a period of one year.
Zoo Negara had suffered severe revenue loss from the lack of ticket sales following the Covid-19 outbreak and movement control order (MCO) from March 18.
With only RM1mil in the bank, it appealed to the public for financial support for the animals under its care through its “Adopt an Animal” initiative. Those who adopt animals through cash contribution are given e-certificates of adoption.
Zoo Negara deputy president Rosly@Rahmat Ahmat Lana said the management of the zoo was worried about sustaining its operations beyond April as it required RM1.3mil a month with food alone costing about RM40,000 a day.
“I thought we would be able to get only a few hundred thousand. However, we ended up with RM8mil from individuals as well as corporations,” he said.
“We were surprised that people from around the world and even schoolchildren were doing their part to support us.
“SDO’s contribution will cover all costs for the animals’ food supply and veterinary care. We hope this adoption will raise awareness and encourage the public to participate in our ‘Adopt an Animal’ initiative to safeguard the well-being of the animals.
“We look forward to the partnership with SDO as we foster greater interest in the conservation and protection of wildlife, especially among the younger generation,” he added.
SDO managing director Mohd Haris Mohd Arshad said the company reached out to Zoo Negara as soon as it learned about the initiative during the MCO.
“SDO is a subsidiary of SDP, the world’s largest producer of certified sustainable palm oil. At SDP, we go to great lengths to ensure the natural habitats of endangered animals surrounding our plantations are well-conserved and protected.
“We want to play our part in supporting this important initiative by Zoo Negara because it aligns with our intention of raising awareness among Malaysians on the importance of sustainable and responsible oil palm cultivation which supports conservation efforts of endangered wildlife.”
He added that with over 600,000ha of land across multiple countries, Sime Darby had been active in managing biodiversity and wildlife through Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD).
In 2014, Sime Darby became a signatory to the New York Declaration on Forests with national governments and other companies around the world to cut natural forest loss in half by 2020, and strive to end it by 2030.
In partnership with YSD, SDP has also been involved in and supported over 20 various projects as well as invested RM153mil in the conservation and protection of biodiversity through forest rehabilitation.
These include projects such as the restoration of 5,400ha of degraded forest and orang utan habitat in Ulu Segama, Sabah, as well as the conservation efforts of the Malayan tiger, proboscis monkey, Sunda clouded leopard, Malaysian elephant, Bornean sun bear and hornbills.
“These wondrous animals are very close to our hearts. We need to care for them, even when they are in captivity and not in their natural habitat.
“Under the good care of Zoo Negara, we can help to keep them healthy with the hope that they can continue to breed safely and thrive in the future,” added Mohd Haris.
“Zoo’s around the world play a positive role in educating people about deforestation and sustainability, and this adoption is part of our wider CSR initiatives, where we will also be involved in on-the-ground activities by Zoo Negara that will benefit young Malaysians.
“If we don’t do anything to preserve animals like the Malayan tiger and Sumatran orang utan, all these will be lost.”
As agreed between the two parties, SDO’s contribution would continue to benefit the adopted animals for one year and various engagement programmes run by Zoo Negara to raise awareness on animal conservation.
These programmes include activities such as a one-night stay at Zoo Camp for children aged six and above to observe nocturnal animals, up-close sessions with Zoo Negara keepers for preschoolers, primary and secondary school students, as well as a Zoo Negara research programme sponsored by SDO for college students to conduct their research on the zoo, its employees and the animals under its care.
For details on the Zoo Negara animals adoption package, visit zoonegaramalaysia.my/adopt.