22-Year-Old Starts Her Own Mobile Petting Zoo To Educate The Public About Exotic Animals
Due to a keen interest in exotic animals since childhood, a 22-year-old from Kedah has started her own mobile petting zoo to share her love and knowledge of these animals with the public
Syazlin Hafisya from Kulim, popularly known as @kakakraptor on TikTok, owns more than 40 exotic animals, such as pythons, iguanas, African ground squirrels, sugar gliders, guinea pigs, and scorpions in her personal collection.
According to Bernama, Syazlin said she enjoys making videos of her animals and holding small showcases in Perak, Penang, and Kedah to impart her knowledge of these creatures to others.
The Diploma in Digital Technology graduate said she began setting up her little zoo in 2016.
And now, it has become her source of income.
"I bought all these animals from pet shops nationwide at a price of between RM100 and RM10,000 [for each of them], and for now, I am focusing full-time on the mini zoo business and animal care," she told Bernama recently.
Syazlin added that the fee to view her collection is only RM5 per person because her purpose is to provide exposure and to educate the public about exotic animals.
The only child also credits her parents for nurturing her love for animals from a young age, especially after realising she loved watching wildlife documentaries as a child.
The animal lover also revealed that the main challenge she faces in taking care of the animals is Malaysia's hot climate
When not travelling, Syazlin said all her animals are kept in cages and aquariums in her family home, which is equipped with an alarm system and closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras to prevent theft.
However, as most of the animals come from abroad and are less suited to the heat, she has to come up with various ways to control the temperature and humidity of their environment.
"For example, chinchillas need to be in temperatures below 26°C, so I put them in a room with air conditioning; while for a chameleon, I need to control the humidity to stop them from getting respiratory infections," she said.
Furthermore, she said she can only hold exhibitions in the northern states for now, to reduce the risk of stress that may come to the animals if she travelled longer distances.
The responsible caretaker also assured that she has a licence and permit to keep and exhibit exotic animals from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (PERHILITAN)
The process of obtaining these permissions, Syazlin confessed, is easier than one might think: "Just bring the purchase receipt and microchip to PERHILITAN and it will be ready in just five minutes."
However, she does advise those who wish to own exotic animals to first equip themselves with the knowledge and skills required in handling these precious creatures.
"Be diligent in doing research and learn how to look after these animals before buying them because a lack of knowledge can cause the animals to fall ill and die," she said.
Syazlin added that she hopes to open a proper mini zoo in the future for the members of public to walk in and visit.
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