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AT TAYLOR'S: Hafiz Zamri (Hafiz.Zamri@taylors.edu.my)
PROJECT PARTNER: Zoo Negara (admindepartment@zoonegaramalaysia.my)

Zoo Negara Malaysia is accomplished by the Malaysian Zoological Society, a non-governmental organization. Zoo Negara was officially found on 14th November 1963 and has matured into a well-known zoo all around the world with a total of over 5137 specimen from 476 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. Zoo Negara covers 110 acres of land which is situated only 5km from the city of Kuala Lumpur. Over the years, the zoo has transformed itself to an open concept zoo with over 90% of its animals being kept in spacious exhibits with landscape fitting its nature. Zoo Negara Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR Programme is created for individuals and groups age 16 years and above. Besides working with the wildlife, volunteers will also assist and help to work in the Wildlife Education, Enrichment, and Photography, Public Relations, Horticulture and other departments.

In 2012 it was announced that two Giant Pandas will be coming to Malaysia on a ten-year loan from The People’s Republic of China. The pandas will be housed at a newly renovated facility at Zoo Negara that will be completed in mid 2014 in time for their arrival in May. In addition to the new compound at the zoo, forty acres of land have been set aside to grow bamboo for the pandas by the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM).

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Malaysia is the third country in the region (after Singapore and Thailand) to receive Giant Pandas from China, whose economic and social ties with this country go back forty years. According to the World Wildlife Fund – who uses the panda as part of its famous WWF logo - the Giant Panda is the rarest member of the bear family and among the world's most threatened animals. In Chinese tradition, the Panda is seen as a symbol of peace. China agreed to loan the pandas for a decade as a symbol of the republic’s healthy relationship with Malaysia, as well as to mark 40 years of diplomatic ties.

In preparation for the construction of the new enclosure, the students of Prof Hafiz Zamri of The Design School decorated the hoarding surrounding the construction in graphic art that represented both the anticipated animal residents of the zoo and some of the spirit of emotional importance that they carry by virtue of their unique status in raising awareness of environmental issues. It was that community spirit that Prof Hafiz sought to bring to this project.  Fu Wa and Feng Yi, both 7 years old, are now installed in their new home at Zoo Negara much to the delight of local residents and children.
 

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