Animals not being abused, says zoo caretaker
By MARTIN CARVALHO and DESIREE TRESA GASPER
Friday February 5, 2010
JOHOR BARU: Do not blindly accuse people of mishandling tigers or taking advantage of them, said Saleng Zoo caretaker and animal trainer J. Siva Priyan.
Siva explained that this was the year that zoos which had tigers could educate and acquire enough money to take care of the animals themselves.
It is very expensive to feed these tigers and the Year of the Tiger allows us to raise funds to take care of them, he said.
He explained that not all zoos or parks that have been promoting tigers were abusing them.
“We are animal lovers, too,” he said, adding that each tiger consumes about six kilogrammes of meat a day.
Siva said that if complainants had proof of abuse or exploitation, they should report it to the relevant authorities.
In Malacca, keepers of the tigers at A’Famosa Resort denied that they were exploiting the animals kept at its safari in Alor Gajah by promoting them as attractions in conjunction with the Year of the Tiger.
Resort senior manager Aswandi Hassan said that patrons would only be allowed to take photographs with two of the tigers out of the 26 kept at the safari.
“Both tigers are captive bred and are below two years old.
“They are used to educate those wanting to learn more about tigers and take photos at the safari,” he said when contacted here yesterday.
He said the remaining tigers were allowed to roam freely at the two-hectare safari and not used for shows or entertainment purposes.
On Tuesday, officials from the Singapore-based Animal Concerns Research and Education Society and the Selangor Society for the Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals voiced their concern over the use of tigers or any other wild animals for photography as it brings with it a whole host of welfare concerns.
They were responding to an article on tigers being featured as attractions at theme parks and private zoos.