Located in Ulu Klang near Taman Melawati, about 13 kilometers Northeast of Kuala Lumpur, the National Zoo or Zoo Negara, is one of the biggest zoos in Southeast Asia. The zoo occupies an area of 110 acres of a once-virgin forest, developed to cater to visitors and their comfort.
It was officially opened in 1963 by then Malaysia’s Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, and has been, since the beginning, managed by the Malaysian Zoological Society. It houses over 5000 animals of about 450 species of exotic animals, mammals, amphibians, fishes, reptiles and birds.
It is also home to endangered species and exotic animals that are considered very rare already in some parts of the world, such as orangutans, tigers, rhinoceros, leopard, storks, turtles, gibbons, gharial and sun bears.
But besides providing home to these animals, the National Zoo also aims to conserve, to be able to conduct animal researches, to educate and to provide entertainment to the public. Its goal is to provide large and open habitats to the animals that closely imitate their natural home environment.
Thus, 90 percent of its animals on exhibits, the majority of which are birds and fishes, are kept on adequately spacious natural landscapes. Of their animals, only about a hundred are mammals and reptiles.
The National Zoo has several attractions available for its guests. One of the most popular is the Tunku Abdul Rahman Aquarium. It is Malaysia’s first ecological-based freshwater aquarium that features creatures of the country’s wetlands and rivers. It has about 80 species of combined marine and freshwater sea creatures including invertebrates.
There is also a Bee Museum where guests can learn different species of bees, bee-keeping practices, breeding of bees and many others. A Bird Aviary is also available where you’ll see their large collection of brightly colored birds. There is a Birds Photo Corner where you can catch macaws and cockatoos and take pictures of them. In addition, the zoo has a natural park and a reptile house where you can see and observe Malaysian frogs and toads.
You will also find several walkways between forestland with trees and bushes and where some of the animal cages are located. And if you’re fascinated with elephants, you’ll also enjoy their elephant shows with trained elephants showing various skills and tricks.
Two elephant theatres can be found in the compound, a smaller one for scheduled single elephant shows, and a bigger one for multi-animal shows. In addition, you may also ride an elephant and tour around atop the biggest animal in the zoo. Aside from elephants, the zoo also organizes various animal shows like orangutan shows, seal shows and sea lion shows.
All these help to make the zoo a unique place that provides educational amusement for both adults and kids. So, if you’re traveling with kids, the zoo should definitely be on your list of must-visit places. Bring your kids and be prepared to be amazed and be awed by the animals of nature and visit the National Zoo. And BTW, if you happen to visit Philippines you might as well check out Paradizoo Tagaytay.