PETALING JAYA: Zoo Negara denies that its animals are malnourished and neglected after a visitor took to social media to claim that the animals were living in poor conditions, including one especially skinny Malayan tiger.
While acknowledging the zoo’s shortcomings and lack of funds, deputy president Rosly@Rahmat Amat Lana said that the animals were being well-fed and receiving veterinary care to the best of the zoo’s ability.
This came after photos of animals at the zoo - including one of an emaciated Malayan tiger walking around in its enclosure - were uploaded to social media on Wednesday (March 31) by Facebook user Kinz Lai after his recent visit there.
Rosly however said that the tiger in question was recovering after receiving medical treatment.
“That particular tiger was recovering from medical treatment, hence it was given the opportunity to walk around its enclosure as part of its recovery process. It is unfair for Internet users to single out one tiger among the many big healthy cats of Zoo Negara.
“Rest assured that we are feeding our animals well and are giving them the best veterinary care to the best of our ability, ” said Rosly.
He added that they were grateful to survive the movement control order with the help of kind Malaysians, allowing the zoo to channel the funds into feeding the animals, giving basic veterinary care and paying the salaries of its staff.
However, with the zoo having to spend all of its revenue, Rosly admitted that it was left with no room for expansion as a facility for education, conservation and scientific research.
Rosly said that Zoo Negara needs at least 500,000 visitors to walk through its doors annually to reach a breakeven figure from ticket sales.
“We acknowledge the many shortcomings and we are addressing them in phases.
We will continue to improve and upkeep our facilities within our means, ” he said, adding that the zoo gets about 55,000 visitors monthly this year amid the MCO.
Lai, who posted over 40 photos from his recent visit to the zoo, wrote that most sections in the zoo were dirty while the animals were skinny and had no access to clean water.
He added that the fish tanks in the aquarium were so dirty that he could barely see anything and said that the penguins were also living with dirty water.
In the post that has gathered over 4,000 likes and has been shared over 9,000 times, Lai ended it by calling for the public to visit Zoo Negara or donate to it in order to help it maintain its upkeep.