OUR National Zoo, or Zoo Negara in Ulu Klang, Selangor is home to over 476 species of animals. Is it true that it was once known as the “Zoo in the Jungle”?
Yes, Zoo Negara was known as the "Zoo in the Jungle" in the past because of its green, forested surroundings.
“Many people criticised the establishment of the zoo in the beginning due to the fact that it was eight miles (12km) from the city centre and said to be much too far away,” read an excerpt from the zoo’s website on its history.
But those critics were proven wrong, when the zoo received its one-millionth visitor on Nov 14, 1966 - just three years after it opened its doors for the first time to the public.
When it was first opened in 1963, the zoo’s entrance rate was 50 cents for adults and 20 cents for children.
Another fun fact is that areas in Templer Park in Rawang and Lake Gardens in Kuala Lumpur were once considered for the zoo's location.
“These areas had been examined but all for one reason or another had proved unsuitable,” said Zoo Negara on its history.
In the end, the current Ulu Klang site in Selangor was chosen, after it was suggested by Major A.N. Weinman, the then-director of the Dehiwala Zoo in Colombo.
“He had visited Kuala Lumpur and offered his services to help the infant zoo to its feet.
“He spent a month in Kuala Lumpur during which he inspected both Templer Park and the present site at Ulu Klang,” said the zoo.
The zoo was later officially opened by our first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj on Nov 14, 1963.