Do you love wildlife? Are you the kind of person who would like to have a look at all the species that are available out there in a single place without much travel? Then, the one place that you must visit is the National Zoo of Malaysia. Also known as the Zoo Negara, this zoo is one of the largest of its kind with more than 16 major exhibits to its name. The zoo is managed by a non-governmental organisation, which is known as the Malaysian Zoological Society. Located in the North-East part of Kuala Lumpur, in the land of Ulu Klang near the Taman Melawati, the zoo is spread over a vast expanse of 45 Hectares (110 acres). The zoo was officially opened to the public in the year 1963. The zoo, being run by a non-governmental organisation, is mainly dependant on the support offered by the donators and the sponsors and also on the gate collections that are made every year. However, the funding has never been a problem to the organisation that runs the zoo as the number of visitors who visit the park every year exceeds 10 Lakhs. Also, the animals that are a part of the zoo are adopted by some of the leading people in Malaysia and across the world, and so the expenditure that the animals require is greatly reduced.
The zoo is also the proud home of about 460 odd species, which boasts a whopping 5137 animals. Over time, the zoo has been transformed from a normal exhibit type zoo to a zoo where the animals are set out to give them a natural environment to live in. Normal zoo exhibits suffer due to the problem of restricted space and often tend to indulge in activities such as attacking the visitors or trying to escape the restricted space and end up in wounding themselves. It sometimes leads to the death of animals due to extended state of their wounds. This concept that the Zoo Negara has developed has led to the zoo being awarded the prestigious MS ISO 9001:2008 certification in the year 2007. The zoo is now a member of the South East Asian Zoos Association, also known as the SEAZA. An important fact to note about the zoo is that the zoo provides about 90% open space to the animals, which is by far the best that a zoo with restricted space can provide.
The history of the zoo dates back to the 1950’s. The Malaysian Agri-Horticulture Association opened this zoo as a miniature zoo, from where the idea got transformed to convert it into a full time zoo. Over time, area around the zoo was acquired for the development of a full time zone and the concept finally turned into a true idea in the year 1967, when the zoo was finally opened with the name Zoo Negara. Later, the area near the zoo was further acquired for developing the zoo in the 1970’s as the Malaysian country gained economic prowess.
There are several ways by which one could reach the zoo’s main entrance. The MRR2 Road, the Kelana Jaya Line LRT and the Metrobus are the easiest way to get to the zoo. Though the Metrobus is the easiest way to get to the zoo, the other two methods take you to close proximity to the zoo, although a taxi or a feeder bus will take you to the entrance from there directly.
The exhibits in the zoo are widely talked about all over the world. Some of the famous exhibits that are present in the zoo are the Reptile Par, The Malaysian Elephants, The Lake Birds, The Children’s World, Etc. to name a few. All these parks are well maintained and provide a wholesome experience to the zoo visit. The Malaysian Elephants provide an entertaining experience where the trainer instructs the Elephants to perform certain tasks which are entertaining to watch as these Elephants are playful with the trainer and the other Elephants as well. The Children’s World is amusing as it houses an in-house mini- rainforest coupled with a playground for the children to play, a small fish pond and a miniature horse barn as well. Also, the Children’s World is filled with friendly animals such as ducks, rabbits and chickens, which provide a congenial atmosphere for the children to play. The Bear Complex houses some of the rare varieties of Bears such as the Sloth Bear, Brown Bear and the Malaysian Sun Bear, to name a few. A short walk in the Savannah Zone gives you in-person experience with the tropical animals such as zebras, ostriches, sable antelope to name a few. This zoo is also home to the freshwater aquarium, which reflects the rich nature of Malaysian wetlands and rivers.
The other attractions that are available in the zoo are the Bee Museum, which houses some of the bee types in the Malaysian Country. There are other attractions such as the train ride and the multi-animal photo corner, which are focussed on increasing the tourist footprint in the zoo. Apart from the tourist point-of-view, the zoo also involves in conservational activity and helps people in educating people about the various facts about animals and insects.