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UK charity helping out Lok Kawi zoo
Published on: Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: A wildlife park in Sabah has accepted help from an UK animal welfare charity, following concerns raised over the welfare of animals under its care.Following concerns raised in social media, the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park in Penampang invited UK animal welfare charity Wild Welfare to visit and carry out a welfare audit.

Wild Welfare's Field Director Dave Morgan observed the Park's facilities and all its animals and held meetings with key people from the Park and Sabah Wildlife Department. The charity has since offered to help work with the Park to make improvements for its animals.

"We discovered a number of areas where there are concerns, in particular the current controlling methods used to manage their elephants. Changes need to be made to improve conditions for the animals," he said.

Following the three-day audit, a meeting was held with Nur'Ain Acheh, the Park's Manager, Augustine Tuuga, the Director of Sabah Wildlife Department, the Department's Deputy Director and Sabah Wildlife Rescue Unit's chief veterinarian. All parties agreed the need for positive changes to improve animal welfare at the Park.

Up to 90 per cent of the Park's animals were rescued as a result of injury or are confiscations from the illegal pets and wildlife trades. Wild Welfare has experience working in similar wild animal facilities across the world, putting in place a series of practical, long-term changes wherever necessary, that enable staff and management to provide good animal care and welfare.

"We don't just come in and audit a facility, point out all that is wrong and expect changes to happen overnight.

"Our charity will work with the Park to help solve the problems and issues that are giving cause for concern, ensuring the staff can create a place where all the animals receive a high standard of care," added Morgan.

Wild Welfare is generating a full report for the Park, which will lay out the changes that need to be made, and has made a commitment to return next year with additional expertise. - Hayati Dzulkifli


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