Money is currently tight for many, and that includes Zoo Negara.
The National Zoo has evaluated their funds and according to them, it will only hold until April. With the MCO in effect, they have been trying to save as much money as they can, but running a zoo is no easy feat.
Deputy president of Zoo Negara, Rosly@Rahmat Ahmat Lana stated that, for the time being, the funds are enough to cover operation costs which includes the animals’ food and their workers’ pay.
Although they are confident they will be able to cover costs during the MCO, they hope it will end by 18th February without being extended again. “Zoo Negara will face financial problems if the MCO is extended for a longer period. I hope that does not happen,” Rosly said.
“If it continues,” she adds. “We will have to plead the government for permission to operate, or find other means to continue to stay in business.” However, she firmly believes MCO will end soon as it doesn’t only affect their income which relies on ticket sales, but also the economy.
They launched an “Adopt an Animal” campaign last year to help maintain funds. It is still continuing but less donations have been coming in. The campaign allows citizens to donate once off or monthly, according to set packages. “During the previous MCO, many were quick to donate and we managed to collect RM10 million,” Rosly said.
Yesterday (Thursday, 4th February), FMT reported that 6 deer were sold to a private company from Melaka for RM5000 each. A complaint was lodged when an adviser to Zoo Negara’s staff union alleged that the deer were transported out without proper protocol.
The director of zoology, veterinary and panda conservation, Dr Mat Naim Ramli, later clarified that since the deer aren’t under the protected animal category, they can be sold to individuals or companies for their meat or breeding purposes.