Borneo Elephant

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Baby Pygmy Elephant

Zoo expecting first captive born pygmy elephant

07 October, 2006 - Daily Express Sabah

Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah Zoological and Botanical Park in Lok Kawi, 25km from here, is expecting the first birth of a Borneo pygmy elephant by a captive jumbo in 16 months. State Wildlife Department Deputy Director, Laurentius N. Ambu said the cow elephant was now into her sixth-month of pregnancy. "We have to monitor the progress of the elephant pregnancy. God willing, if she is healthy we will have the first captive born baby elephant in 16 months," he said at a mock cheque presentation-cum-launching of the Orang Utan Exhibit.

The RM25,000 was from the Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort for the yearly general upkeep of the Orang Utan Exhibit.
Thanks to the resort's generosity, Laurentius said the money would certainly complement the zoo's budget in maintaining its orang utan exhibit.

"We are also inviting a number of corporations to take part in similar programmes, just like what Rasa Ria is doing," he said.
Although the money would not be enough to cover the annual expenses in the exhibit's upkeep, he said it would at least supplement the cost. The resort, he said, has been actively assisting the Government since 1996 via a smart partnership to rehabilitate and to conserve the orang utan.

He said the Nature Reserve at the resort successfully demonstrates the effectiveness of a smart partnership between the government and private sector working hand-in-hand on nature conservation programmes.
The cheque presentation, he said, marked the first of the resort's annual contribution to the Orang Utan Exhibit at the zoo also known as Lok Kawi Zoo.

Meanwhile, Laurentius said the zoo would be opening its doors to the public after all components in the facility have been completed."But it looks like the rain is taking a heavy toll on us particularly the construction," he said.

Among the facilities that are currently still undergoing construction, he said include the reptile house and animal show enclosure, among others. Earlier, the zoo had targeted end of this year to fully open its doors to the public.
By then, Laurentius said the zoo has projected an annual income of RM2 million.

He said they were also banking on the Visit Malaysia 2007 and its animal show feature to attract people to the zoo.
To maintain the RM24m zoo, he said they need at least RM2m, not inclusive of the salaries of its more than 51 staff.
According to him, about 80 per cent of the animals kept at park will be local species while the remaining 20 per cent, imported from other countries.

In addition to the animal exhibits, the park would see a 1.4km walking trail and another cycling trail for visitors to see the flora inside the perimeters of the zoo. Also planned are orchid exhibitions, fernarium, butterfly farm, insecterium as well as exhibits of medicinal plants, nephentes (periuk kera) and ginger, among others.

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