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“Mediocre at best, dismal at worst”

Melaka Zoo and Night Safari
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The Pride of Melaka with more than 500 Animals from 150 Different Species all over the world at one place. Experience the zoo in the day and also in the night with our Night Safari. Been in existence since 1963, you will get to experience Zoo in its Natural Surroundings.
Reviewed May 12, 2013

I went to this zoo on 12 May 2013, as a way to spend quality time with the little boy and wifey.
I heard about the big management change in February and the claim to have it on par with Singapore Zoo in 2 years time. So hoping to see some positive changes to the zoo, I was very fired up and so was my kid of 2 years old.

I had been to this zoo before I was married in 2008, and at that time I had a good opinion of the zoo's approach to open concept enclosures , with it's mini safari where you could practically walk side by side with a full grown giraffe.

Unfortunately, this latest visit confirmed my greatest fears about mismanagement of animal welfare in this country.

1.) The mini safari was closed and in a state of disrepair.
2.) The red panda enclosure was empty, probably due to the panda's untimely demise.
3.) The walk in enclosure that housed ring tailed lemurs and love birds and flying foxes was now an overgrown dump and closed to visitors. No animals there.
4.) Miniature pony enclosure, also empty
5.) Mouse deer enclosure, in 2008 there were at least 6 to 8 mousedeers, 2 lyrebirds, a quartet of crown wood doves, and a good sprinkling of egrets. Now, just 1 lonely mouse deer, 1 stork, 2 other unknown species of small deer.
6.) Capybaras, 2 and in a squalid enclosure with a tree blocking the only good view of them.
7.) Tapirs, 2 of them also in enclosures that had seen better days but now are more of twisted metal bars and crumbling masonry.
8.) Walk in aviary with only the common white doves and white egrets. At most I counted about less than 20 birds
9.) 1 miserable estuarine crocodile, a handful of false gharials
10.) 3 small Asiatic elephants that just stood there with no sign of enrichment toys or even a hanging log toy.
11.) 1 solitary clouded leopard
12.) 1 normal leopard pacing away in a denuded enclosure
13. ) 2 balding and extremely dirty ostriches that could do with a good wash.
14.) Overgrown primate islands that have no view of primates, at least we heard them so probably they're there somewhere.
15.) 1 chimpanzee, at the time either sleeping or maybe already dead and awaiting discovery
16.) 1 orangutan, just sitting there with a sad look on its face
17.) 1 Malayan wild dog? I didn't know Malaysia had a wild dog species.
18.) 1 solitary African lion, female and in an enclosure that was overgrown with water lilies.
19.) 3 tigers all lazing around in slightly better enclosures compared to the lion.
20.) The tortoise garden was more garden then tortoises and the few I saw had all the liveliness of a homeless drunk then a truly lively animal.
21.) A flamingo enclosure with no flamingos, they later appeared in the animal show.
And that's just the animals. As for the condition of the walkways for visitors:
1.) Uneven roads that you could twist an ankle on.
2.) Trees growing in the middle of the walkway
3.) Don't even think of bringing a baby stroller or pram, unless you want to twist your back negotiating the bad walkways. I brought one for my kid, and I cursed myself for doing it.
4.) No map of the zoo so you don't know where you're headed or what is the next exhibit. Fortunately I'm a local so I more or less knew.
5.) Throughout the visit, I also found that the mosquito population was doing well, at least there is one species that is doing well in a zoo.
6.) The aviary is dark and dank, one would easily mistake it for a cave of horrors instead of an aviary.
7.) The otter enclosure was good with lively otters, but no shade for anyone wanting to watch this playful occupants swim.

I tend to disclaim any news from the local tabloids due to their less than honest spin on local news, but seeing what I saw on this visit, I am inclined to believe the news that indeed 230 animals were unaccounted for after the management handover.

And a word on the animal show. Perhaps this was the only saving grace of Melaka zoo. The handlers were well trained and very gentle with the birds. However if I were to fork out RM 20 just for an animal show I should have gone to the animal theatre at Pulau Melaka.

I realize that maybe its too soon to expect much from this once well known zoo.After all the former Chief Minister of Malacca , Ali Rustam , boasted a RM 2 million overhaul of the zoo to match Singapore zoo in 2 years time. I can only hope it will come to fruition as planned in 2015. As for now and the immediate future, I can only say that I will not be going back to Zoo Melaka again. Now that the zoo has a new management team, it needs to think very carefully what it intends to do with the animals and enclosures and also the overall visitor friendliness of the zoo. Failing to improve anything about this zoo, they might as well close it down and donate the animals to better zoos or risk making the biggest mockery of Malacca's tourism attraction as nothing more than a rip off for unsuspecting tourists and locals.

6  Thank YogiBear37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MelakaZooNightSafari, Owner at Melaka Zoo and Night Safari, responded to this reviewResponded November 2, 2013

Dear YogiBear37,

Thank you for taking the time to review Melaka Zoo Night Safari. We truly value the opinions of our visitors and we apologize that we did not meet your expectations during your last visit to the zoo.

Providing our visitors with the best possible service has always been our mission and we have been working very hard to continue upgrade and improve our facilities since the recent privatization. The zoo has been established since 50 years ago and ever since privatization we are trying to upgrade the zoo putting Education, Recreation and Recreation in focus.

We are very glad to hear that you have enjoyed the Bird Show. Nevertheless, we have addressed your comments to the zoology department highlighting your concern for the animals in the zoo, enhancing the security and safety of our zoo for the comfort of all visitors, and we want you to know that we truly appreciate your constructive feedback to us.

Given a chance, we hope to be able to welcome your family once again to the zoo in the near future.

Thank you.

Kind regards,
The Management and Staff of Melaka Zoo & Night Safari

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 23, 2013

The worst zoo in Malaysia. The animal in sorry state & the animal placed in poorly maintained enclosure. Typical msian style zoo. Nothing more. Very less species of mammals. Lot stupid stork bird everywhere. Will never go again.

2  Thank 96Honestguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MelakaZooNightSafari, Owner at Melaka Zoo and Night Safari, responded to this reviewResponded November 2, 2013

Dear 96Honestguy,

Thank you for your honest and constructive review. Although we continually strive for excellence, there are times when our visitors may experience less than acceptable service and we truly apologize for your bad experience at the zoo. Do know that we appreciate your comments because it is through these reviews that we can meet our challenges head on. We are continually upgrading and enhancing our zoo for the benefits of our visitors and we hope to have another opportunity to welcome you again.

Thank you.

Best Regards,
The Management and Staff of Melaka Zoo & Night Safari

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2012

Worse experience.not suitable for handicap people with wheelchair n baby with stroller.to many stairs.far from animal.they said there will be the elephant show on 12pm but wait till 1230pm still no show.the zoo keeper just feed the elephant n go.not telling the crowd whether there will be a show or not.worse zoo in msia.never come here anymore.the zoo also not very clean.they pickup all the rubbish when the zoo is open for public.the smelly rubbish lorry follow all the crowd

Thank pejeque
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2012

Greetings folks
i do recomend all the malaysians to go to this zoo atleast once in a life time, this is the best zoo and good shows and lots of animals and healthy compared to any other zoo available in malaysia,price are ok, the seladang and rhino are awesome, food there are A&W great for a food in zoo...service are good,

3  Thank ChewPenang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 1, 2012

We went there on 29th September, 2012. Adults were charged RM10.00 per entry, which is cheaper from the National Zoo.. The parking ticket is RM2.00 per entry.

Overall it was fun & good.. Various kinds of animals and birds to see.. It was a good educational trip for my son, where he can actually see the elephants, tigers, hippo, crocodiles and some other animals which are rarely found in Malaysia.. There are also rooms made of glasses next to the cage for the tigers, where u can actually see the tiger when it approaches you nest to the glasses, a really exciting experience! The elephants are just cute! The pose various pose when they see you holding your camera, just adorable!

There were also birds of paradise or in Malaysia we call it Cenderawasih in a cage, where you can see it really closely.. It makes beautiful sounds.. Then there were parrots, owls, horn-bills and some other species.. The birds look healthy and chirpy! There was also a bridge where you can walk and just enjoy the nice breeze and scenery from the lake nearby..

The zoo also provides tram service, costing at RM3.00 per ride.. This might be useful for elderly or little kids but we chose walking so that we have ample time to watch each animals..

There are a few little shops selling drinks & food but we did not stop to buy anything coz we came after our lunch.. The souvenir at the exit also sells souvenir at reasonable price.. but for items like fridge magnets, its better to buy at the stalls located at the parking area coz its much cheaper - 3 fridge magnets for RM10.00 only...

Come here with cotton shirt @ anything comfortable, not forgetting your running shoes as u will sweat a lot here, coz the area is quite big and surely with a lot of walking to do :)

In general, i would recommend you to come here.. The zoo does not only educate us on the various kind of creatures, but also helps us to realize that there is a lot that we must do to stop these animals from extinction..

2  Thank atarina80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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