Monday, January 18, 2010

Malaysia Borneo’s orangutan to help boost KL’s eco-tourism

KUCHING: An orangutan sanctuary, just like the ones in Semenggoh Wildlife Centre here and the Sepilok Sanctuary in Sandakan, Sabah, will be created in Kuala Lumpur as the latest eco-tourism attraction in the peninsula.With this, several orangutan primates are expected to be flown over to Kuala Lumpur from the two East Malaysian states once their new ‘home’ is identified.

The new Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit said this needed to be done because it is a directive given to him by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“After my swearing in ceremony on Jan 13 in Kuala Lumpur, the prime minister asked me, ‘Can we fly one or two orangutan to KL?’. I said, ‘yes, we can’. But we need to find a suitable location, preferably an old tropical jungle or forest.

“This is a huge responsibility. I will use all the knowledge I have, as well as the experience I amassed all these years, in order to make this a reality,” he said in his first press conference last Saturday night.

Dawos, an environmental expert and a scientist by training, said he had already discussed the matter with the director general of Forestry Department, Datuk Razani Ujang, to find a suitable forest near Kuala Lumpur to relocate the orangutan. The next step to be taken, he said, would be to set up meetings between him and directors of both Sarawak and Sabah Forest Depart­ments, and also hold dialogues with experts from both states.

Continue reading at: Malaysia Borneo’s orangutan to help boost KL’s eco-tourism

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