KOTA KINABALU: Animals at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, many of which were rescued and placed there for rehabilitation, can be seen playing around with their new toys, thanks to a group of volunteers who came over the weekend.
The volunteers were staff of AirAsia from seven countries and from a non-governmental organisation - Animal Projects & Environment Education Sdn Bhd, or APE Malaysia.
The AirAsia team from its Allstars Do Good unit, represented by Achilles Sureen, said the programme was to help instil a sense of responsibility towards the community among staff.
“We started this project on Saturday (Sept 7) after getting the nod from the Sabah Wildlife Department, ” he said.
He said the two-day programme saw them utilising more than 600kg of old fire hoses to make toys and equipment for the animals in Lok Kawi.
“Some of the items made will also be distributed to other animal sanctuaries, including the Sepilok Orangutan rehabilitation centre, ” Sureen said.
He said they took time to repaint and refurbish some parts of the Lok Kawi park, just to make it look more cheerful and hopefully, bring joy to not only the animals but also visitors in future.
Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said such programmes actually help improve the lives and mental state of animals in captivity.
“It is useful when animals have more things to play with, as they can explore more and would be happier, ” he said.
He said apart from just eating and doing normal routine activities that their staff have prepared for the animals, the animals now have newer and more things to do.
Tuuga in expressing his thanks to the volunteers, urged for more non-governmental organisations to help contribute to the enrichment of animals.
The programme was organised by People and Culture Department of AirAsia along with AirAsia Foundation with members not only from Malaysia, but also China, the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar, APE Malaysia and Lok Kawi Wildlife Park.
AirAsia Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the AirAsia Group funds social enterprises to help effect social change through entrepreneurship
APE Malaysia is a social enterprise grantee of AirAsia Foundation.
Its mission is to improve animal welfare through behavioural enrichment, wherein volunteers are engaged to create opportunities for wildlife animals to have meaningful interactions with their surroundings.