THE Taiping Zoo and Night Safari plans to breed the endangered green peafowl and later release them into their natural habitat.
Its director Dr Kevin Lazarus said the zoo had a pair of the birds as one of its attractions and was now trying to get them to breed.
The birds, he said, were protected species under the country’s Wildlife Conservation Act.
“Its current status in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is categorised as an endangered species.
“The birds are said to be extinct in the wild in Malaysia.
“We hope to achieve some success to ensure the birds can live freely again in its natural habitat, ” he said in a statement.
The green peafowls are now being exhibited at the lowland forest section of the zoo.
Separately, Dr Lazarus said the zoo had welcomed several new additions to its stable of animals since May.
Among them included three smooth otters and four small-clawed otters that were born in May and October respectively.
“The last time a small-clawed otter was born was in 2018 while a smooth otter was last born in 2019.
“The pups are healthy and still being cared for by their mothers, ” he said, adding that there were now 12 smooth otters and eight small-clawed otters at the zoo.
Dr Lazarus said the zoo had successfully bred two African crowned crane on July 12, bringing the number of the species in the zoo to 12.
He added that other animals bred at the zoo included a Malayan porcupine and common hill mynahs.
Dr Lazarus said the zoo had also received several animals from a few wildlife centres in the country.
Four nyalas, an endemic African antelope, were transferred from the Bukit Gambang Safari Park in Pahang and Langkawi Nature Park, he said.
“Three of the animals were transferred to our zoo from Langkawi on Sept 24 while the one from Bukit Gambang was received on Oct 14, ” he said.
“We have also received 10 lesser whistling ducks, 10 common emerald doves, 10 pink-necked green pigeons from the Wildlife Fauna Breeding and Research centre in Pahang, ” he said, adding that the birds would be placed at the lowland forest section.
The zoo, he said, would always focus on breeding animals, especially threatened and endangered species.
“We also hope to attract more visitors, while carrying on with our wildlife breeding, conservation and preservation programmes, ” he added.