PETALING JAYA: Zoo Negara has been receiving fruits and vegetables from farmers, especially those facing difficulties in selling their produce.
“The farmers would turn to us as a way to help move their stock.
“Every week, they just give us a bag or two of their produce. It is not arranged, ” said a spokesperson from Zoo Negara.
Sometimes the produce was not of good quality so the zoo could not feed it to the animals, he said.
“We welcome their help but we don’t give our animals what humans can’t eat. The animals are well taken care of and eat quality food, ” he said.
A farmer once donated five tonnes of bananas but more than half of it had to be discarded because they were found to have spoiled, he said.
However, the spokesperson said such donations were less frequent now, as the economy had opened up more compared to the earlier days of the movement control order (MCO).
Zoo Negara also gets sponsorship from companies which donate animal feed such as fruits and meat.
Food and medication for the animals at the national zoo cost about RM400,000 a month or RM4.8mil a year.
The spokesperson said the number of visitors during the recovery MCO period was above expectation as people wanted to be out in open spaces.
However, the present conditional MCO in the Klang Valley, which began on Oct 14 and has since been extended to Dec 6, means that Zoo Negara has had to remain closed to all visitors.
“Our revenue stream is from gate collection. When we are not open, revenue stream is affected, ” said the spokesperson.
Zoo Negara is managed by the Malaysian Zoological Society, a non-governmental organisation established to create the first local zoo for Malaysians.
Covering 110 acres of land, Zoo Negara has more than 3,000 specimens from 275 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish.
Members of the public who wish to donate can visit the Zoo Negara website at https://www.zoonegaramalaysia.my/adopt.html for more information.
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