WHILE our tigers and elephants in the jungles are facing the threat of extinction from habitat loss and poaching, animals in zoos could be facing starvation soon. Due to the Covid-19 triggered movement control order, Zoo Negara, for instance, has been closed to the public.
Believe it or not, the national zoo spends about RM400,000 a month to feed its animals. With no gate revenue for now, it is facing a financial crisis. It has been reported that the remaining emergency funds can only last for three months.
Besides appealing for financial assistance from the government (the zoo is run by a voluntary organisation), company sponsorships, and monetary and animal feed (such as fruits and meat) donations from NGOs and members of the public, perhaps Zoo Negara can offer pay-per-view live-streaming of animal attractions on its website.
Though we may not be able to get close to our favourite orang utan, we still can check on them from home this way. For sure it would be better than watching funny cats on YouTube. And who knows, some of our local fauna may become international stars! Also, seeing them live can establish a connection and drive donations.
Animals, whether in the wild or in captivity or on the streets, deserve our attention. So please also don’t forget about our friends, the stray cats and dogs in the back lanes and alleys. They have no proper shelter and food let alone regular feeding time. All they have is our compassion.