MELAKA (Bernama): The Melaka Zoo needs about RM600,000 a month to cover animal care and operational expenses following its temporary closure during the lockdown due to risk of Covid-19 transmission.
Hang Tuah Jaya Municipal Council (MPHTJ) president Datuk Shadan Othman said of the total, RM250,000 is needed to buy food for 550 animals representing 250 species being housed at the zoo.
"The Zoo needs at least 250 kilogrammes of chicken meat and beef a month, as well as fruits and vegetables to feed the animals.
"Revenue was down after the Zoo was closed for almost six months... but MPHTJ still has to cover the operating costs or rely on funds from non-governmental organisations, private companies, government and individuals, especially to buy animal feed for the wildlife to survive."
He said this after a Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry (Mafi) Consume More Local Fruits and Vegetables campaign which was also attended by Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah and Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama) board member Datuk Ghazale Muhamad.
Elaborating, Shadan said the animals’ food intake cannot be rationed as they must be fed with the necessary nutrients as recommended by veterinary officers who monitor the health of the animals.
He said the council had been collecting funds for the zoo since the MCO was implemented last year and to date RM200, 000 have been raised.
"We welcome public donations to help ease the burden following the closure of Melaka Zoo, ” he said adding that upkeep of the Zoo was important as it serves as a centre for learning, conservation and preservation of endangered animals.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Hamzah said Mafi through Fama had donated 20 tonnes of fruits and vegetables worth about RM45,000 to the Melaka Zoo since MCO 1.0 was enforced. - Bernama