Thursday, December 10, 2009

Deerland - Lanchang - Ostrich

Chance to interact with roaming animals at Deerland

Story and photos by SIMON KHOO

VISITORS can expect a unique experience at Deerland Park, which occupies a 4ha site at Kampung Sokmik in Bukit Rengit, Lanchang.
The trip starts with a warm greeting at the entrance by park owner Abdullah Ahmad Mahmud, 56, and his family members, including Abdullah’s eldest daughter Herlina.
Opened in 1996, the park is divided into two sections – Animal World and Nature Park – for visitors to enjoy the fauna and flora in a serene environment.
Welcoming: Abdullah Ahmad at the entrance of Deerland.
Abdullah said visitors could start the visit by feeding animals such as sun bears, snakes, deer, monkeys, rabbits, mousedeer, birds and ostriches.
He said feeding the animals was a unique experience as visitors could make body contact.
“Children love to feel the animals here but parents must supervise them at all times.
“My workers go on rounds from time to time as the area is big and there are many chores,” he said in an interview.
Abdullah said visitors could take a guided walk along the herb trail and learn about medicinal plants in the jungle.
Feeding time: A sun bear drinking honey to the delight of visitors.
He said they could make arrangements to have lunch by the river and have fun swinging across the river on a network of ropes.
‘‘We also provide camping facilities for those who intend to stay overnight.
“Visitors can learn to use a blowpipe, watch birds, go on jungle and river trekking, learn jungle survival skills and go for night walks,” he said.
Abdullah said the number of visitors had increased over the years with more than 37,000 recorded last year, including many foreigners.
He said plans were in the pipeline to enhance facilities at the park.
Close contact: Visitors feeding deer.
“I started it as a hobby as my wife and I are nature lovers.
“Before we embarked on the park, we sold venison to restaurants,” he said, adding that they used their savings of RM300,000 to turn their deer farm into a park.
Abdullah said he was proud as the proprietor and hoped his children would continue the legacy.
“It was not easy to get permits for the animals and approval from the authorities to set up the place,” he said.
The park is open from 10.30am to 5.30pm daily, except Friday.
For more information, call 09-279 7249 or Herlina at 013-967 6242/013-988 1345.

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