KUALA LUMPUR: Contradicting discoveries were made by the Peninsular Malaysia Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) that launched investigations into claims of abuse on animals at the Kemaman Zoo in Terengganu.
Perhilitan director general Datuk Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim said in response to allegations made by non governmental organisations and social media reports about the abuse, a team from the state Perhilitan was dispatched to investigate the zoo which comes under the purview of the Kemaman Municipal Council.
Among the findings by the Perhilitan team, there were no death of bears or gibbons as claimed, Kadir said and pointed out, a tapir had died but it was due to heart failure and not abuse.
On allegations the animals were kept in cages, Kadir said those were animals that are under medical treatment.
“On allegations of a baby elephant being chained, the inquiry has found that it was an adult in healthy and normal condition. It is placed in its former cage due to restoration process for the new cage. The chaining of the elephant is to prevent it from wandering off from its enclosure and avoid it from bringing harm to the staff and visitors.
“As for a tiger placed in a small cage in the night stall, the size of the cage is in accordance to the rules and regulations,” he said in a statement.
“Perhilitan is serious when it comes to the welfare of wildlife here and will not compromise with any zoos that do not adhere to guidelines. Firm action will be taken to those who failed to abide by the rules,” Kadir said.
He added that Perhilitan values support and suggestions by the public and non-governmental organisation in their efforts raise awareness on the welfare of the wildlife.
Kadir advised the public to call Perhilitan on reports of wildlife abuse at its hotline 1-800-88-5151 or email at www.wildlife.gov.my.
The Kemaman Municipal Council had also refuted claims on the abuse of the animals at the zoon.