Tuesday, 22 June 2010

National Parks Are Zoos In Sarawak, Says State Wildlife Controller

National Parks Are Zoos In Sarawak, Says State Wildlife Controller
June 21, 2010 21:45 PM

KUCHING, June 21 (Bernama) -- The national parks in Sarawak function as zoos in their own right and there is no necessity to set up zoos in the state, Sarawak Wildlife controller, Datuk Len Talif Salleh said Monday.

Len Talif, who is also the managing director and chief executive officer of Sarawak Forestry Corporation said all the 18 national parks in the state were zoos in the natural sense.

"I personally don't think there is a need to set up zoos in the state. It is better for them (animals) to live in the wild.

"Zoos are set up in areas where there is no place to put the animals in their natural habitat but in Sarawak, we have our national parks.

"However, I will leave it to the state authority to consider that," he told reporters after a meet-and-greet session with the Sarawak Forestry Internship Programme participants, here Monday.

Len Talif was earlier asked to comment whether there was a need to set up zoos in the state when the relocation of animals would be done at various stages of impoundment of the Bakun and Murum dams.

The Bakun Dam situated in the Upper Rajang River Basin and covering an area of about 14,750 sq km, has an installed capacity of 2,400MW. Once impounded, the reservoir, spanning over Batang Balui, Sungai Murum, Sungai Bahau, Sungai Pelepeh and Sungai Linau will have a surface area of 695 sq km.

Len Talif said Sarawak Forestry had identified at least 18 permanent islands as big as 50 to 100 hectares created once the impoundment of Bakun dam commenced.

He said a plant nursery containing most of the collection of plants had been set up, while an animal rescue was established for the relocation of animals.

The Bakun dam is expected to generate power sometime next year instead of late this year as earlier planned.

It will supply power for use by energy-intensive industries like aluminium smelters, to be set up in the Samalaju Industrial Park in Bintulu.