Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia has so many tourist attractions to convince you to start booking your flight to the Malaysian state of Sabah. The amazing dive sites and marine life within Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, the exotic birds and animals inside the Kota Kinabalu City Bird Sanctuary, and UNESCO World Heritage Site Kinabalu National Park are enough reasons for anyone and everyone to see Kota Kinabalu before leaving Planet Earth. Another must-visit attraction is the Green Connection Aquarium, which is just 10-minutes away from the city center.
This attraction, Borneo’s newest pride, is definitely more than just an aquarium; it is also a zoo and fun discovery center for the entire family. Inside Green Connection, you will be treated to a one-of-kind, face-to-face encounter with Sabah’s wildlife. Leading attractions include snakes, fish, turtles, sharks and corals.
Many of the snakes here have been purchased or rescued from hunters. They were nursed and treated for injuries before being released back into the remote national parks of Sabah or after laying their eggs. These wild and damaged snakes are kept from the public; only those that have been hatched and raised in the Aquarium and made comfortable around people are put on public display and allowed to be held by visitors. Snakes are properly cared for and in fact displayed in rotation so that not one or two snakes get overly petted by visitors.
Green Connection also has a competitive collection of special, rare, unusual and tiny fish. Most of the fish, such as the Humphead Wrasse and Arwana, are caught or rescued from their natural habitats that are in real danger of being destroyed or seriously damaged, which could lead to the fish’s extinction. And as with the snakes, there also many fish that were purchased or rescued from fishermen who were ready to cook them for dinner. The goal is to protect and breed rare species, and give them a fighting chance against imminent extinction.
Meanwhile, the biggest Green Turtle on display was also almost literally rescued from the dinner plate. Rescued and protected turtles are cared for and then released into a protected sanctuary where they can thrive in complete safety. Green Connection has two large Green Turtles but these are kept away from the public eye.
Another important element marine life is the shark. Sharks are seriously threatened to extinction. The Aquarium harvests eggs, hatches them, and rears the baby sharks in the best possible conditions. Green Connection is presently caring for bamboo sharks and coral cat sharks, which they would soon release back into the sea.
Finally, visitors are treated to a wide collection of colorful corals. Green Connection maintains a huge 450,000-liter coral reef tank that has 17 tons of artificial rock and 35 tons of sand. The corals were planted from 2005 to 2007.
The Green Connection Aquarium is open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Visitors are allowed to enter until 4:30 p.m. Admission fee is RM25 (US$8.40) for adults and RM15 (US$5.00) for children. Visitors typically spend at least three hours touring the aquarium. Feeding time is at 11:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.