4/23/2009 — BERNAMA
The East Coast Economic Region (ECER) is host to the largest pheasant sanctuary in Malaysia, as part of its efforts to promote tourism.
The 1.7-acre Ajil Pheasant Park has been certified by the Malaysian Book of Records as the country’s largest pheasant sanctuary and breeding farm. It is located along the road to Kuala Berang and the Kenyir Lake.
The park has 38 pheasant species out of a known 49 in the world, including the endangered Green Peafowl, which was last spotted on the Besut coast in 1958.
The ECER secretariat said in a statement Thursday that Oh Siong Lai, the park operator, started the venture as a hobby.
“At the farm, we are breeding the Green Peafowl and currently working with the Terengganu state government, to re-introduce the birds back into their natural habitat,” Oh said.
According to Oh, the pheasants which are among the most beautiful birds in the world, are attracting local and foreign tourists alike.
He explained that most of the pheasants at the park were imported from Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.
A former schoolteacher, he said plans are afoot to expand the park to house several small mammals like foxes and porcupines, to complement the deer and several species of monkeys.
He also intends to create a herb garden within the park for study and research.
“However, these plans are still very preliminary as the current cost of maintaining the park, exceeds the collection from entrance fees,” he said.