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'May we have giraffes now?' JAKARTA - Controversy over the deer at the National Monument (Monas) park has apparently not affected people's desire to see the animals. News that the does are pregnant has also increased their desire to pay a visit. Dozens of people gathered outside the fence of the five-hectare deer zone on Sunday, picnicking.
"It's good to have such a zone, as we no longer have to go to the zoo or Bogor to see spotted deer. It'd be better if there were giraffes and other animals here," said Mukmainah, 40, a resident of Tomang, West Jakarta. Another visitor, Kuncoro, 35, from Ciledug, Tangerang, arrived at Monas park with his wife and two children. He said he wanted to see various birds at the park, as in the zoological garden.
Monas park is currently home to 12 deer: Six does and six bucks. Deer project leader Hadi S. Alikodra said that all does would give birth by the end of the year. A member of the deer monitoring team, Ridwan, said that visitors' demands to see more animals had been on the increase, with regard to the replies from questionnaires distributed to visitors to the deer zone.
"It's still possible to place more deer and other species, including birds and mouse deer, as the zone is large enough for some 30 deer," he said. "However, it's unlikely we'll have large animals like giraffes or elephants because there isn't enough grass and the perimeter fence won't be strong enough to contain them, either," said another monitoring team member Syamsul, a graduate from Bogor Agriculture Institute (IPB).
Both volunteers are members of the 15-strong deer monitoring team, which has been assigned to monitor the animals every two hours. Syamsul said that the first step was to monitor the deer's behavior, to see if they could adapt to the environment. The second was to find out the potential dangers to deer. "Dogs are their worst enemy. We must ensure that no dog goes anywhere near the deer zone," he said.
The deer were put in the park thanks to Governor Sutiyoso, although he was turned down by the State Secretariat when he requested deer from Bogor presidential palace. Critics addressed his idea, saying that Monas park was unsuitable for animals. The park is not only noisy but the high level of air pollution from the surrounding main thoroughfares is not good for the animals' health.
The deer zone went ahead nonetheless, was formally opened by President Megawati Soekarnoputri in early June and has attracted visitors to the area.



Posted in Oddly enough ... @ 04 August 2003 00:02 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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