This recent long weekend presented an opportunity for Malaysians to show their love and support for our national zoo, which recently made an plea for visitors after seeing a drastic drop in foot traffic over the past few years. And boy, did Malaysians step up.
Some made return visits after years after many years while others brought their children for the first time, admitting they wanted to show love for a place they fondly remember from when they themselves were children. Many visitors recalled their fondest memories being at the zoo, seeing wild animals for the first time, as well as the infamous ’80s and ’90s KFC commercials which portrayed kids having a ball at the zoo.
Quek Jinn Lin, a 36-year-old mother who brought her entire family for a day out, told New Strait Times the importance of Zoo Negara as an institution for Malaysians.
“This is my children’s first visit to the zoo and they are having so much fun watching the birds roaming at the lake. I hope the zoo will continue to be here for future generations,” she said.
32-year-old Harjeet Singh visited with his wife and niece after reading about how the zoo direly needed support.
“After reading the article, I said to my wife we should visit the zoo. My niece, who has been here three times before, was delighted and showed us around. This is my first visit to the zoo and it is worth every penny.”
Some visitors even offered some constructive criticism, urging the zoo to look back at their past successes through commercial advertisements as well as active promotions.
“Children nowadays don’t understand the fun of zoos. They don’t know how amazing some animals are,” said Jacky Chin, another supporter.
Zoo officials are considering a price reduction for tickets while also planning educational programmes for both kids and adults. Some also pointed out that the national zoo should collaborate with the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry, Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia and tour agencies to help promote our national zoo not only as a destination for locals but also tourists and foreigners.
Zoo Negara Malaysia deputy president Rosly @ Rahmat Ahmat Lana has expressed his appreciation to those who showed up during the weekend to show their love and support.
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