“Let’s go to the Zoo, there’s lots of things to do…”
That was how a song went that promoted the Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet at Zoo Negara, Malaysia, many, many years ago. The fast food joint went bust and closed down after operating for sometime and the building remains abandoned in the Zoo even today.
Our national zoo has always been a place where families would bring their kids for a day out and schools would organize outings for their students. How did the national zoo fall into such a bad situation that the only fast food joint in there actually closed down? In all honesty, the exact details as to why is not easy to come by these days but it still sad to see that.
The Zoo Negara is actually a non-government premise run by the Malaysian Zoological Society, officially opened on 1963, it received it’s 1,000,000th visitor by 1966. It has endured 45yrs but all in all, it has always been a fight to keep the zoo alive by ensuring public interest in it doesn’t wane as it derives most if not all of it’s income from ticketing. Despite many misconceptions, Zoo Negara doesn’t actually receive enough funds from the government for it to be maintained, let alone upgraded.
Whilst it is sad or even cruel to keep animals in captivity so we “humans” can look at them at our leisure and in absolute safety, Zoo Negara represents the hardwork and dedication of many people as well as a healthy location for recreation for 2 generations of Malaysians. It is an institution worth supporting while we can all look forward to the day that the Zoo Negara transforms itself to a much more animal friendly environment.
I have personally had contact with their staff and I spoke to a senior gentlemen who still takes care of the Zoo with all his heart… despite of a age where most would just want to sit and home and retire; he toiled still for the Zoo and he still spoke of the Zoo with such passion, love that would normally only come from someone 50yrs his junior…
My trip to Zoo Negara today brought back many memories…. the Zoo holds a special place in my heart. It represents the location for one of the most meaningful events for my life until now, the location of one Kids Klick event.
Even now, I can still remember vividly the smiles and laughters of the underpriveleaged children and their mentors… the sweat and effort put into the organisation of that event. It is also the location that I have memories with the two most important people of my life… where I met one of them and where I spent an afternoon in the sweltering heat there with the other.
Such memories are not easily forgotten or should be allowed to be erased if something bad happen to Zoo Negara.
So…. “Let’s go to the Zoo~!”