MELAKA: After much buzz about wild boars and macaques in Melaka, an environmental activist from the Portuguese community suggests promoting "musang" (Asian palm civet cats) to woo tourists.
Martin Theseira (pic) said the diversity of Melaka's urban wildlife could be promoted into an intriguing holiday package.
"Many would like to get a sight of civet cats in the wild," he said in an interview Monday (June 29).
Theseira, who is involved in night walks organised by the Melaka Museums Corporation (Perzim), said he was ready to incorporate "Musang Watch" as part of the tour package.
He said Melaka is home to a wide variety of species, including some that are not commonly seen, such as otters as well as Oriental pied hornbills.
"There are a significant number of these civet cats in Ujong Pasir, especially within the Portuguese Settlement," he said.
He said the civet cats are nocturnal animals and could be easily spotted during fruiting seasons.
"This species would usually be seen at mango and naseberry ("ciku") trees late in the night," he said.
Theseira also said civet cats were shy animals that did not venture out in broad daylight.
"The species is harmless as long it's not provoked," he said.
Theseira said the civet cats mostly hibernated in abandoned homes and rooftops.
"Most Ujong Pasir residents have sighted this animal roaming around their neighbourhoods," he said, adding that the species is protected under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010.
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