Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Lok Kawi Wildlife Park must be relocated

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun supports the relocation of the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park as it will allow for better management and beneficial for everyone in the long run.

He said that the current location of the park in Lok Kawi was quite congested and not fully utilised due to its hilly terrain.

“If we are looking ahead, then we have to move to bigger and better forests. Wildlife shouldn’t be contained in small enclosures. It is difficult to see them in real natural habitat in small enclosures,” he told reporters at a Hari Raya Aildifitri celebration yesterday.

He was responding to the Sabah Wildlife Department’s proposal that the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park in Putatan be relocated to Sugud, Penampang.

Its director, Augustine Tuuga, said the department had held talks with Penampang district officials over the proposal and the relocation of the wildlife park was for the government to decide.

According to Augustine, the proposed site in Sugud is well-suited as the forest covers an area of about 1,618.7 hectares compared to Lok Kawi Wildlife Park’s size of 113.3 hectares.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Yahya Hussin however has objected to the proposal to shift the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park to Sugud. He claimed that it would be unwise to shift the wildlife park, or commonly referred to as a zoo, as it will cost a lot money and time consuming.

Masidi said the proposal to relocate the park started a few years ago.

“There are a lot of considerations, so it’s not just about whether we want to move, but if the villagers are willing to let go of the land to accommodate the park.

“Personally, I like to plan beyond my lifetime, for future generations. Then yes, I am of the opinion that we need to move,” he said.