Wildlife and National Parks Department director-general Datuk Abdul Kadir Abu Hasim has dismissed allegations of ill-treatment of animals at Kemaman Zoo in Terengganu.
“It is a misunderstanding. People who spread images of the zoo animals should have checked with the authorities to verify their accuracy and validity," he said when contacted by Bernama here, today.
Malaysian Friends of the Animals and Friends of the Orangutans Malaysia had expressed concerns over orangutan who was placed in a cage, an elephant who was chained and the death of other animals.
An investigation conducted by the Wildlife Department found the young orangutan was placed in a cage temporarily since his mother was undergoing treatment in November 2017.
"The orangutan has since been moved and placed in a large cage with equipment such as tyres and ropes," he said in a statement following allegations of ill treatment of wildlife by the two NGOs.
Abdul Kadir said the “young elephant” with the leg chained was actually a healthy adult elephant. The leg chain was to prevent the elephant from posing a danger to the visitors and zoo staff.
“As for the image of a tiger, the animal was placed in an enclosure of suitable size and in compliance with the rules. There is no record of death involving a sun bear and a gibbon. A tapir died in 2016 due to pulmonary oedema and pulmonary congestion.
“The sun bear was put in new enclosure since October 2017 while the gibbon was put in an enclosure called Pulau Ungka. Both animals are still alive.”
He said the Wildlife Department would not compromise in terms of the welfare of the animals and would take firm action against the zoo operators who failed to comply with the regulations.