THOSE born in 1961 are eligible for a free ticket to the Taiping Zoo and Night Safari.
Taiping Municipal Council president Khairul Amir Mohamad Zubir said the giveaway was part of the zoo’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
“We will hold several programmes to mark the zoo’s 60th anniversary. They include a coffee-table book on the 60th anniversary as well as the sale of commemorative souvenirs.
“We will also mark International Tiger Day on July 31 and World Zoo Day on Oct 23, ” he said in a statement after the launch of the zoo’s Diamond Jubilee.
The zoo was set up in 1961 by the then Taiping local government management board. It was previously known as the Sultan Idris Shah Wild Animals Park.
The zoo was the brainchild of then municipal council chairman Tan Sri Saw Huat Lye.
Also present at the launch were Perak housing, local government and tourism committee chairman Datuk Nolee Ashilin Mohamed Radzi and Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) deputy director (conservation) Datuk Fakhrul Hatta Musa.
They also launched World Wildlife Day and the zoo released four milky storks that were bred in captivity last year, to commemorate the occasion.
Khairul Amir said the zoo’s breeding programme for endangered species had been invaluable.
“Our successes include the breeding of the Malayan tiger, dhole, gaur, Asian elephant, tapir and gibbons.
“The zoo is now trying to breed the green peafowl, which is categorised as endangered and is said to be extinct in the wild in Malaysia.
“The zoo hopes that its breeding programme will lead to the birds being released into their natural habitat, ” he added.
Khairul Amir said the zoo was grateful to individuals and organisations who supported it by sponsoring animals or facilities.
“The funds will be used for food and medication for the animals, enrichment and conservation programmes as well as to build new exhibition pens aside from facilities for visitors.
“By sponsoring one or more animal or the facilities at the zoo, they will be supporting wildlife conservation and preservation, ” he said, adding that the programme was introduced in 1994.
Khairul Amir said the municipal council had received a RM150,000 allocation from the Perak government to instal giant fans and upgrade public toilets at the zoo.
“The Energy and Natural Resources Ministry has allocated some RM2.3mil for a wildlife welfare fund as well as for food, medication, disinfection and upgrading of animal exhibits.
“Several other companies and agencies also gave food supplies for the animals during the movement control order and conditional MCO.
“We also want to extend our appreciation to four private donors for adopting several animals a the zoo, ” he added.