Kuala Lumpur Mouse Deer Park
Just a short walk away from the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park is the Mouse Deer Park.
To get there by foot. Leaving the Bird Park turn left and walk to the end of the road and turn right. Here, duck your head and pass under the barrier and walk down the hill. For practically all of your journey the deer park will be on your left hand side. There is an upper entrance gate but on my two visits it was padlocked shut so you will have to go down to the main gate.
As you pass down the hill the 2 Hectare park looks deceptively large and full of lush vegetation.
The main gate is situated in the Lake Garden. It is an attractive entrance and it is refreshing to discover that this is a free attraction.
There are excellent paths, fences and viewing points throughout. It is not till one is actually within the park that one is aware that the deer do not actually have access to all the lush vegetation that one sees from outside the park. That said it is an attractive, well maintained if slightly disappointing collection.
Why Disappointing? Well having seen Mouse Deer World in Malacca a year or so ago I was expecting to see something similar or better here especially as 'Mouse Deer Park' had appeared on the map I had.
The Mouse Deer were, it turned out, confined to three fairly small cages. Not too small, they were more than adequate. I suppose in the long run they were much safer inside than running out and I daresay no-body would have seen them.
There were, I reckoned about six animals in each cage. All looked very well. The food was fresh and there was courtship behaviour taking place. The last Mouse Deer I saw were back in the horrific Phuket Zoo, but come to think of it even there they had been given some of the better housing.
There were at least three other species of deer in the park. Their enclosure was pretty large but practically devoid of vegetation. Whereas it did did not appear to be overstocked it probably was.
Much of what I read about the Park on the internet is total rubbish as it suggests that close contact, including petting and feeding of the freely roaming deer was a treat in store. I was pleased to find that this was not actually the case.
The Mousedeer (Tragulus javanicus)
I spent some time trying to figure out what the other deer species were. There was mention of Fallow Deer imported from Holland. There were Axis too, probably a couple or three Sambar up in the top corner and a good sprinkling of Cervus species...probably Javan or Timor Deer but I would not claim to be a deer expert.
The signage was quite good here but it does need to improve to clarify the 'Deer Confusion'.
Worth A Visit?
So is the Mousedeer Park worth a visit? Most definitely yes, if you pick your time. At the time of my visit there were only three other visitors. It was a quiet relaxing half hour.
Having gone this far though I do hope that they put in some better signs. A bit of colour and some factoids.
I for one would be very interested to know which is correct...Mouse Deer, Mousedeer or Mouse-Deer. Maybe it is all three.
Zoo News Digest
Follow news and views of zoos at Zoo News Digest