ANIMAL keepers at the Taiping Zoo constantly keep a close watch to ensure the public did not feed the animals, said its director Dr Kevin Lazarus.
It has been the practice all the while, he added.
Dr Lazarus said they not only feared that the animals would be poisoned, but it was also a move to prevent the animals from falling sick due to wrong diet.
Besides the keepers keeping a close watch on the animals, he said, there were also signboards informing the public not to feed the animals or encroach into the animals’ enclosures.
“The enclosures are usually a distant away from the public, and for those within the reach of the public, we usually have glass windows.
“People tend to feed primates as they are placed in smaller enclosures, but we also keep a close eye to prevent anyone from feeding them,” he said yesterday.
Dr Lazarus was commenting on the deaths of an Arabian stallion and a Malayan Sun Bear at the Malacca Zoo on Sunday and Monday.
A post-mortem revealed that the bear had eaten a banana laced with toxin.
An autopsy had yet to be performed on the 17-year horse “Basket” that was found dead by its groomer P. Lohan.
Dr Lazarus said in the last 15 years there have not been cases of animals being poisoned at the zoo.
About 20 years ago there was a case of a lion dying of poisoning.
“This malicious poisoning is conducted by some people for fun, while some people just act violent such as throwing stones at the animals.
“However, the cases of people throwing stones at animals has reduced drastically compared to 20 years ago,” he added.