JOHOR BARU: The state government has approved the relocation of the Johor Zoo from its present site in Jalan Gertak Merah here to a 20.23ha site in Iskandar Puteri, formerly known as Nusajaya, some 20km away.
State Local Government and Housing Committee chairman Datuk Abdul Latiff Bandi said the new site was located along the Second Link Highway just a few kilometres away from the Perling toll plaza and added that the development of the new zoo would start later this year.
“We have asked for about RM53mil in allocation from the state government and received a RM1mil budget for the initial works,” said Abdul Latiff here yesterday.
Moving to the site, he said, would mean that there would be enough room for expansion as well as additional animals.
Abdul Latiff said the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) would also be consulted in the planning stage of the zoo.
Initial works, said Abdul Latiff, included carrying out a land survey of the site as well as inspecting the topography and creating a buffer zone.
A buffer zone had to be considered due to the site’s proximity to residential areas and a private hospital, he said.
“We have appointed a consultant to draw up the plan. Visitors can look forward to a world-class zoo in Johor within the next five years,” said Abdul Latiff.
Besides better facilities, including larger enclosures, there will be an open air theatre for shows, a petting zoo and a restaurant where visitors can dine while surrounded by animals.
“While waiting for the new place to be completed, we have spent about RM1.5mil upgrading the facilities at the existing zoo,” he said.
Built in 1928, Johor Zoo, one of the oldest in the country, is located on prime land opposite the Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque, just a stone’s throw away from the 150-year-old Istana Besar Johor Baru.