Since May 2013, I’ve visited the site to chart the progress of the construction. All I’ve managed to see was the outside of the exhibit. This week, I saw the interior, and I was impressed.
I was asked to attend a meeting that was initially at the Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment (NRE) in Putrajaya. The venue was later changed to Zoo Negara itself as the committee wanted to see the progress of the upgrades requested by the inspection team from China.
After I arrived in the meeting room, I introduced myself, adding that I am Feng Yi’s adopter. One of the ladies to my left said “No wonder you look familiar”. Apparently, they know about this site and have been reading it. You can’t imagine how chuffed I was to learn this. *big grin*
The two ladies turned out to be from the NRE. The senior of the two, Puan Adzlina Ibrahim, Principal Assistant Secretary in the Biodiversity and Forestry Management Division, chaired the meeting. I also got to meet Dennis from the Wildlife Department and also Junaidi, head of the Education Department at the Zoo. There was a familiar face at the meeting, too – Dr Felix, the Zoo’s deputy director.
After the meeting, the committee took the tram to the site. I was told no photographs until after the Minister himself visits the exhibit. To date, as far as I know, this is the only photograph available online:
I was impressed with what I saw. There are two main yards supported by dens in the back, kitchen, vet’s room, etc. The whole structure is enclosed, and temperature will be regulated at 22°C. At one point, I stood facing Feng Yi’s yard and told Junaidi that I can just imagine her walking around, exploring, sniffing and marking her territory.
I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that there will be giant pandas in Malaysia soon. And from what I’ve seen, and the people I’ve met, I think it will all be good.