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Cuisine in Melaka

WILD DOGS OF MELAKA ZOO

Email Print 18 February 2012

Zoo’s success with wild dogs

By HANIS MAKETAB
AYER KEROH
[email protected]

Malacca Zoo boasts of first dhole pups born in captivity in Malaysia

Visitors to Malacca Zoo have the opportunity to see rare dholes, including the first pair of pups born in captivity in Malaysia in August last year. Pic by Mohd Jamah Nasri
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Malacca Zoo welcomed the first dhole pups born in captivity in the country recently.
Zoo director Ahmad Azhar Mohammed said the pups — a male and a female — were born in August last year and were now six months old.

“We (Malacca Zoo) had received our first dhole, a male, in 2008 from Terengganu while the second dhole, a female, had been sent to us from Zoo Negara in 2010.

“Soon after, the pair mated and… here they are,” he told the New Straits Times, gesturing at the pups.

The pups, which had already grown to be nearly as big as their parents, bounded about in their enclosure, perhaps excited by all the attention they were getting from the photographer.

Often, they would approach the chain-link fence separating them from the public, sniffing curiously at those brave enough to come close to them.

Unlike dogs, they did not bark, but rather, let out a high-pitched whining noise or brief yaps.

“Once they are old enough to be separated from their mother, we hope to exchange them with any other zoo that have stock.

“This is to avoid inbreeding.”

Ahmad added that in the wild, it was quite rare to come across them, but visitors to the zoo had the opportunity to come and see a family of dholes first-hand.

The dhole, also known as the Asiatic Wild Dog or “anjing hutan”, is only found in Asia and Southeast Asia and is classified as “endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

It is estimated that fewer than 2,500 mature individuals remain in the wild and the declining population trend is expected to continue.

The main threats to the species include ongoing habitat loss, depletion of prey base, harassment and possible disease transfer from domestic and feral dogs.

Dholes are unique members of the canid family as they do not fit neatly into any of the sub-families such as foxes or wolf-like dogs and are thus placed in a genus of its own — cuon.

Scientifically known as the Cuon alpinus, dholes usually have coats that are rusty red in colour with lighter, yellow fur on its underside.

Together with the grey wolf, the African hunting dog and the Amazonian bush dog, the dhole is one of the few dogs that regularly hunts in packs and together are capable of bringing down larger animals such as wild boars and water buffalos, sometimes even tigers.

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Cuisine in Melaka

HANG TUAH EXISTENCE DEBATE IS IRRELEVANT

27 January 2012 | last updated at 02:48am

‘Existence debate is irrelevant, focus should be on values’

MALACCA: Malacca Museums Department director Datuk Khamis Abas said the world can debate whether or not Hang Tuah existed “until the cows come home”, but it would not benefit anyone even if the contention was proven either way.

Datuk Khamis Abas says whether Hang Tuah is fictitious or not is irrelevant. Pic by Mohd Jamah Nasri
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“I believe that Hang Tuah exists, and my beliefs are based on historical facts. This is true for Hang Jebat, Hang Kasturi, Hang Lekir and Hang Lekiu; but it really does not matter,” he said when contacted by the New Straits Times yesterday.
Khamis said what the people know of Hang Tuah today was that he was a great commander, warrior and friend who stood for loyalty to duty above all else.

“Hikayat Hang Tuah (metaphorically or historically) spelled an archaic Malaccan landscape, which was prosperous but also under threat from rival nation states at the same time.

“The values held by Hang Tuah illustrate how having certain values could ensure order and peace, and how after his departure Malacca’s condition worsened.”

Khamis said it was irrelevant whether Hang Tuah was fictitious or not.

“We can juxtapose the highly regarded values held by Hang Tuah then, with the challenges faced by modern Malaysians today.

“If we look into what Hang Tuah can teach us, we can find valuable guidance which can improve us as individuals and then collectively as a nation.”

Khamis said the public should adopt a more “progressive” approach in thinking, and should not limit their scope of study.

“We should explore the various qualities Hang Tuah is said to possess, for example understanding Hang Tuah not only as a warrior, but as a manager, politician or strategist.

“Debating on whether Hang Tuah was real or fictitious, handsome or ugly, or whether he preferred one colour over another, will not benefit Malaysians much.”

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