KUALA LUMPUR: The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah visited the National Zoo and spent more than two hours there today.
His Majesty’s arrival at 9.40am was welcomed by Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah, Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) director-general Datuk Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim and the National Zoo president Datuk Sr Zaharin Md Arif.
Al-Sultan Abdullah commenced the tour by watching an animal show at the amphitheatre, followed by a presentation ceremony of mock cheques from several local companies to the National Zoo.
The companies are Foodpanda Sdn Bhd which is contributing RM200,000 for giant pandas; 99 Speed Mart Sdn Bhd (RM123,084) for two hippopotami; Sime Darby Oils Sdn Bhd (RM65,000) for two Sumatran Orang Utans and two Malayan tigers, and OCBC Al-Amin Bank Berhad sponsoring RM40,000 for a Malayan Tapir.
Al-Sultan Abdullah expressed his appreciation for the contributions of these companies and called on other local companies, especially government-owned and multinationals, to help the National Zoo to cover its daily expenses and needs.
He also spent time chatting with the companies’ representatives, before visiting several animal enclosures including giraffes, deers, lions, Malayan tigers and Orang Utans.
Before concluding his visit, His Majesty visited the Giant Panda Conservation Centre and fed two giant pandas, Fu Wa and Feng Yi, which were loaned by the Chinese government in 2014 through the Joint Giant Panda International Conservation programme.
Al-Sultan Abdullah also treated zoo employees at Kedai Gambar Sdn Bhd Wildlife Superstars.
Meanwhile, National Zoo deputy president Rosly Ahmat Lana said the National Zoo needs RM1.2 million per month to cover its daily expenses including food, medicine, maintenance of the animals and salaries of workers through various financial sources including sponsorship from certain parties.
Open to the public since November 1963, with tickets are priced at RM45 for adults and RM18 for children aged three to 12, the National Zoo receives an estimated 1,500 visitors on weekends and public holidays, and 500 visitors on weekdays. - Bernama