Kuala Lumpur Bird Park
The Kuala Lumpur Bird Park
I have visted the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park before but could not recollect being especially impressed by anything so this visit was 'fresh'. As I progressed around I started to remember things.
It was 38 Malaysian Ringgit for me to get in. I wasn't offered a senior citizen price so that was a plus....or was it I wonder?
The Biggest Aviary in the World?
The Kuala Lumpur Bird Park lays claim to 'The worlds largest walk in free flight aviary'. Is it? I don't know.
On the one hand we have Chai Nat Bird Park claiming the largest in Asia and KL claiming the largest in the world. So how do you gauge the worlds largest.
The 'walk in' is irrelevant because all the really large aviaries are. Is it square metres? cubic metres, height or path mileage? And I still believe the one in Hat Yai is bigger. If Al Ain zoo had put an in and out door on the aviary they have just knocked down then that would have been the biggest in the world by far. It is an odd science, biggestness.
Views Over the Aviary and an inner support
Pied Imperial Pigeons Feeding
The Best Maintained Walk Through Aviary
All in all though this is one of the nicest and best maintained walk through aviaries I have visited anywhere.
Paths and walkways were excellent with the appropriate warning signage in place where needed.
The ambiece though was unfaultable. I loved it sitting in the well appointed benches with Crowned Pigeons and Cattle Egrets picking around my feet.
The 'World of Parrots' was a bit of a disappointment . There was small scale Lorikeet feeding which is always popular with the visitors but the aviaries were very bland. Macaws, to be happy, need something to chew. These had nothing.
I did not care for the owl aviaries. Aviaries within aviaries they were too small were dressed with a token perch and to my way of looking were too sterile. Washed concrete bases.
Another disappointment was the Greater Bird of Paradise. No perching, no foliage. Whereas the cock was very steady the hen was scatty even with just me there. Such a contrast to the Bird of Paradise aviaries in Doha.
There was a Rhea mixed in with a Cassowary. Unusual. Not seen it elsewhere. They seemed to get on fine.
Some of the Signage
A Bird Show From The Sixties
I watched the bird show. I know I should not have done but I did. I was truly awful. It was a trip staight back to the sixties with Macaws riding bicycles and driving jeeps. Other than the odd fact thrown in almost as an afterthought there was practically no educational value whatsoever. There is no denying that Joe Publc was enjoying the show but it doesn't have to be like this. Here everyone had a good time and went away. They learned nothing other than it is possible to teach birds to do tricks. It really isn't good enough for KL. They have a very special and beautiful bird collection but it is being spoilt by the bird show.
The education centre and incubation complex was good. Marred slightly by the very poor taxidermy but I won't dwell on that.
Views Within the Aviary
A Mission Statement to Worry About
"Our vision is to become a world-class zoological park and one of the most competitive in the region in terms of the total number of birds and species collection."
Sorry but that worries me. It is the old 'stamp collecting' type of statement which good zoos should be moving away from. What they say next however is more promising.
"Not only that, we are also committed to become one of the most successful avian breeding centre through our continuous in-situ captive breeding programmes with modern facilities and equipments."
That's great though I worry about the lack of the mention of ex-situ and I do wonder if they know what the words mean.
To me :
Ex-situ - Breeding and maintenance IN a zoo.
In-Situ - Conservation work IN the field.
The so called 'Breeding Programmes' mentioned on their website are also a bit of a worry because they are not Programmes as such. What they are doing is 'in house' breeding. A Programme needs to incorporate other collections within the Region. The Kuala Lumpur Bird Park does not appear on the SEAZA membership list which means to me that anything they are doing in the way of 'programmes' is an utter waste of time.
I Liked it
The Kuala Lumpur Bird Park was quite beautiful. It was well laid out with paths giving views from all levels. There was actually birds as well (some aviaries you see nothing) and they were a pleasure to see. All those I saw were in excellent health.
I will come back again. I enjoyed my visit BUT I have reservations. In terms of how good a collection is it only does so in terms of ambience and looks. It must become a member of SEAZA to be taken seriously. It must join International Breeding Programmes for some of the species of note which it keeps. There must be evidence of genuine conservation work. It may well be that all of these are up and active....but where does it say so. I don't know and Joe Public doesn't know.
As at present having a 'Breeding Programme' for Emu's or African Grey Parrots is a complete and utter waste of time. I am not saying that these are not noteworthy events in themselves but they do more credit to a someones private backyard collection than to a major tourist attraction in the middle of a beautiful city.
Lastly they need to see a decent Bird Show...one which actually instills a wonderment of birds. The present one is clever but the rest of the world has moved on from the likes that can be seen here.
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