PETALING JAYA: An independently-run wildlife rescue and welfare centre should be established to help the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) to care for seized animals in this country.
WWF-Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Dr Dionysius Sharma (pic) said the setting up of such a centre would reduce the mortality rate of the seized animals.
“The department handles different seized wildlife at different times. It has limited facilities and manpower to care for and handle the animals under its custody.
“A rescue centre can be the ideal solution,” he said.
Sharma said that, technically, some of these seized animals should be sent to zoos to be looked after.
He said the Malacca Zoo used to be under Perhilitan’s jurisdiction but after it was privatised, it was difficult for the facility or any other zoo in the country to take in and care for seized animals.
Sharma said an independently-run wildlife centre would allow the seized wildlife to be professionally looked after.
“It would also be responsible for rehabilitating some of the local seized animals to be released back into the wild,” he said.
Currently, he said, there was no such centre but if funds were available, it could be established with the help of non-governmental organisations involved in wildlife conservation.