Wow, where do I start? Okay, the zoo does look tired and worn down. There is simply not enough sponsorship or support from the locals and tourists. A lot of people think its easy to maintain, just hire some foreigners and keep the weeds down. Boy have you ever tried managing a small company? Its definitely costs a fortune to maintain and feed the animals and staffing. I don’t think there is any return from investing in Zoo other than into expanding the knowledge of the peoples and building family relationships. I have not seen a zoo that does not have its glory days and it falls both in the uk and international. Even Zoo Negara, Taiping Zoo, Mines, Desa waterpark etc... all struggleand have to depend on volunteers.
This is my opinion about the Melaka Zoo, it is quite well stocked with game animals, there are bears, giraffe, tapirs, elephants, rhino, lion, tiger, etcs... pretty well stock compare to other european zoo. Please don’t compare to zoo in central new york that get paid billions yearly or london ZLS that run on Pound Sterling. If you do then the entrance to their zoo is 5x-10x the entrance price of Melaka Zoo and add in the food costs, would normally set you back £200 (RM1,600) for family of 4. Will you pay that much to support your local zoo or rather spend on multi million Starbucks? (Now you know why the zoo lacks funding, no supports)
The zoo itself is of a decent size. You can easily spend 2 hours at least here or more if you’re like me try to catch a glimpse of everything. There are plenty of rest rooms, shops and rest area. Seems like a well planned zoo ahead of its time but simply too costly to maintain. Good tram service available. Staffs looks happy so the management must be doing something right.
I recon to visit during the busy season as then the shops and all facility will be open. Even shopping centre struggles and close shops during low peak season.
If you do visit, try to join or walk with the local Malay family! The bigger the family the better! They are the best, fun and simply hilarious! They know many stories, their wifes action are simply gorgeous and funny, and simply down to earth. You know when their children say stuffs like “macam rumah hantu” and their mom shoosh them etc... absolutely funny! Saying like “Air tenang jangan disangka tiada buaya”... brings back memories during the primary school days. There is huge crocodiles in the crocodile enclosure 20feet?. Pretty scary!
Next to it is a prestegious multi million golf resort, yes it looks amazing, membership prob starts at RM(thousands) a year! Equivalent to 100 adult tickets/ year. Wonder if the golf resort willing to merge and shares funding to boosts both place. Then again if you are rich why would you support locals right? Hmmmmm....
The animals some are happy and some are not at their best, the enclosures are a bit run down, some are empty and some are under renovation. To bring the place to pristine would need at least a couple of million ringgit of state funding and constant supply of tourist. The trees planted are amazing and mature with lots of character. There is so much potential on this zoo.
Some places have quite a lot of mosquitoes such as the tapir and porcupine enclosure due to the wet requirement of the animal habitat. Then again the rest are quite mosquitoe free.
This zoo is built to educate, built for families to share times together.... without education, without funding.... everything will be lost. Everyone too busy watching National Geographic and Discovery Channel with flashy graphics or spending time in designer outlets but missed out on “the real adventure is out there”.
Management probably got fedup maintaining it. Initially build with good cause in the 70’s, later human starts comparing with other international newer multi billion dollars modern zoo and bad word spread, less people turn up, funding stops and sooner or later gone down the drain. The usual of human nature, ever wonder how much work and money it take to maintain your own garden or fruit farm?
Having said so, I still think it is worth a visit, not the best, have its ups and down, cheap ticket RM25 adult or RM15 senior citizen or RM35 for foreigner and eating (compare to European zoos). Overall probably maximum cost about RM200 for family of 4 (£45!!!) I wish it all the best and hope more funding will come your way.