Remembering Sheena

Stop Animal Abuse in Malaysia.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Cynthia Hassan's letter to the STAR

We thought Cynthia Hassan wrote a commendable letter to the STAR which was not published. So with her permission we have now published it here, below, for our readers.

I refer to Star, Nation 3 of 22 May ``06 and the heading `Manja shows off new skills at Zoo Negara`.

A primate of the highest order and an endangered one, and while it is acknowledged and accepted as a zoo specimen her life cannot be a `natural` one, this kind of exploitation for the amusement of visitors and tofill the coffers of the zoo should not be allowed to continue.

Aside from being an unethical treatment of this highly esteemed and valued endangered primate - its very nature being so close to the human line makes it susceptable to all of man`s diseases. And for this reason, if nothing else, the orang utan as well as other primates should not be allowed to be in close contact with members of the public.

While in their enclosure the orang utan could be given coconuts, watermelon and huge ice balls made of fruits, not oranges though, and veg to give them something to do. This is how the public can observe them.

On the comments of Zoo Director, Dr. Mohd. Ngah regarding education:I would say he is teaching children that the orang utan is a `fun animal that can do tricks to make them laugh.

On his comments that his `freak show` teaches the importance of conservation, I would ask how? It is obvious to me he is doing the opposite by putting the orang utan`s health at great risk.

Perhaps the Director is not aware of this or is keeping his fingers crossed in the hope she does not contract something.

Surely the orang utan is worthy of more respect.There should be a more natural area for them, something closer to their natural habitat with trees and shrubs for hiding.

In Dorset, England, there is a Primate and Monkey Rescue Park and though this is far from their natural home, much has been done to give these animals an environment that caters to their needs and it gives one a great sense of pride and joy to see them go about their day knowing their value is appreciated and their interests are of primary concern.

I was at the zoo the very first day it opened and have followed it closely ever since. There have been improvements in some areas, notably for the tiger. Also only the tiger would appear to be in tip top condition As our knowledge increases so too must the health and living conditions of the animals. The primates are not looking healthy and the monkey enclosure is so deplorable and overcrowded one cannot really make them out. I would like to see a healthier representation of animals. What we need is quality not quantity.

The biggest improvement has been for the comfort of visitors, i.e. the fancy entrances, beautiful shady walkways, train stations and the "there`s no business like show business" setup.

C. Hassan.
subang jaya.


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  • At 12:47 PM, Blogger Shoba said…

    Thank you very much for leaving your comment. Visited your site. Thank you for doing something to improve the lives of animals. Anything at all we can do goes a long way for them and will surely be remembered by God.

    Thanks for your words of encouragement too. Please participate when we call for help such as the Belum Temenggor Campaign, RSC's Rally to amend the Animal Ordinance and so on. Every voice counts.

    Shoba Mano


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